Harbor jobless rate remains high

Grays Harbor County continued to gain jobs and see its unemployment rate drop in preliminary state labor statistics released for October.

Unemployment in the county fell from 11.7 percent in revised numbers for September to 11.3 percent in the preliminary report for last month, according to the state Employment Security Department.

In October 2011, unemployment was 12.4 percent for the county.

The new figures released Tuesday show that Grays Harbor is tied for the second highest unemployment statewide with Lewis County, also at 11.3 percent unemployment.

Wahkiakum County along the Columbia River now has the highest unemployment in the state at 11.7 percent, replacing Ferry County in Eastern Washington, which saw its unemployment rate drop from 11.8 percent to 11.2 percent in October.

Pacific County edged slightly downward from 10.6 percent in September to 10.5 percent in October.

The figures showed Grays Harbor had a net gain of 110 jobs for the month, with employment at 25,490 people and a labor force of 28,740. Reversing a trend from the previous few months, state and local government actually saw job gains in the month, with a total of 240 jobs combined with education-related hiring.

Statewide, the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October fell to 8.2 percent. The estimated September 2012 rate of 8.5 percent was unchanged. The October 2011 unemployment rate was 8.9 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate is 7.9 percent.