Grays Harbor unemployment is below 10% for the first time since November 2008.
The Washington State Employment Security Department released the county by county unemployment figures on Tuesday. While Grays Harbor is once again tied for the highest numbers in the state at 9.9%, the county has not been in single digits for over 5 years.
November of 2008 was the last time the number has been below 10% when ESD figures showed 8.6% unemployment locally. In April of 2013, local unemployment was 11.9% and 12.7% in 2012.
Preliminary figures show the civilian labor force down to 26,530, dropping 460 since the revised March figures, but the number of employed remains at 23,900. Nonfarm employment has increased 250 since January. Since 2012, nonfarm has decreased by almost 900. The local civilian workforce has been in decline since the start of the recession, contributing to the figures. While the number of unemployed workers has dropped, so has the overall employed.
Since March of 2008, the local work force has dropped by 4,800 people. This number could indicate workers commuting, moving, or neither working or using unemployment services.
The unemployment rate represents the percentage of the labor force that’s unemployed and actively looking for work through the Employment Security Department. People who do not use their services, such as retraining, are not counted as part of the labor force when calculating the rate.