Grays Harbor and Pacific fall to 9th & 10th in unemployment

The December unemployment figures for counties across the state were released on Tuesday, and both Grays Harbor and Pacific counties fell in the overall ranking.

The November figures saw Pacific at 2nd highest overall within the state, with Grays Harbor at 4th highest.

For December, those rankings adjusted dramatically.

Grays Harbor was 9th in the state for December, with Pacific at 10th.

Despite the drop in the state rankings, the unemployment rate for Grays Harbor rose between November and December. The 7.6% unemployment figure was an increase of 7.4% the month prior. That increase is historically consistent over the years.

The total Labor Force grew by around 150, while the total employment and unemployment both saw modest growths of less than 100 people.

The 7.6% figure is higher than many years in the past few years, although figures from 2016 and prior at a higher rate. The highest on record since 1990 was in 2009 when the county saw a 14.8% rate.

The unemployment rate in Pacific County fell to 7.3%, down from the 7.7% rate of November, with the Civilian Labor Force, Employment, and Unemployment numbers staying close the prior month, within 50.

The December change with the rate for the county is not consistent, and appears to alternate year-to-year with modest growth or decline.

The lowest historical rate for Pacific was 6.9% in 2019.

Both counties had been consistently within the top five highest within Washington, although in December 2022 the counties were also ranked lower. At that time, Grays Harbor was 9th highest as well, and Pacific was 11th highest.

For December, a familiar group of eastern Washington counties ranked highest overall. That change is likely due to seasonal jobs and the winter harvests in those rural counties.

County Rate
1 Ferry 11.00%
2 Yakima 8.80%
3 Grant 8.30%
4 Pend Oreille 8.00%
5 Stevens 8.00%
6 Okanogan 7.90%
7 Franklin 7.70%
8 Adams 7.60%
9 Grays Harbor 7.60%
10 Pacific 7.30%