County by county unemployment rates for May were released on Tuesday and Grays Harbor showed the highest unemployment in the state with 13.7%, up from the adjusted rate of 13% for April. In May of 2011 the unemployment locally was 12.9%
Pacific County remained even in May at 11.8%. In 2011, the unemployment for the county was 12.6%, showing an improvement for the year.
The statewide unemployment rate also rose slightly, from April’s revised rate of 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent in May.
Employment Security economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said the higher unemployment rate was caused primarily by more unemployed people re-entering the job market.
She said “In this case, the higher unemployment rate could be a sign that people are feeling more optimistic about their chances of finding a job”
With May’s job gains, Washington has regained an estimated 102,000 jobs since the low point of the recession.
In May, an estimated 292,000 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. In Grays Harbor, an estimated 4,000 people are unemployed.