Preliminary unemployment numbers for January are still in the double digits for both Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties, but show a slight improvement in percentages for both.
Grays Harbor County, now has the second-highest jobless rate in the state with 11.6 percent, trailing much smaller Ferry County, which reported unemployment of 12.9 percent.
Pacific County’s preliminary number for January is 10.5 percent, which is the second lowest for counties with double digit unemployment. Okanagan reported a slightly better percentage, 10.4 percent.
The rates for the Twin Harbors are still far above King County, with 5.2 percent unemployment. The state’s overall jobless rate came in at 6.9 percent. All 2014 numbers are preliminary and not seasonally adjusted.
“Nothing to scream too loudly about, but (Grays Harbor) is no longer number 1 in the state for the highest unemployment percentages, ” said Ron Schmidt, co-administrator of WorkSource for Pacific and Grays Harbor counties. “The real numbers are in our labor force. They only diminished by 50 from the month of December and actually 20 less people are unemployed from the month of December as well.”
Dismal double-digit unemployment numbers have plagued the Harbor for much of the aftermath of the Great Recession.
When compared to revised numbers from January 2013, some improvement can be noted. Last year, Grays Harbor County had 13.7 percent unemployment and Pacific County had 12.7 percent.
The number of those in the labor force in both counties has also dropped. Grays Harbor sank from 27,960 in the labor force in January of 2013 to 27,100 in January of this year, a loss of 860. Pacific County dipped from 8,370 to 8,240, a loss of 130 in the work force.
Erin Hart, 360-537-3932, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @DW_Erin