Local unemployment rates dop; counties still among highest statewide

Grays Harbor and Pacific County both saw drops in local unemployment by over a percentage point, but at the cost of a loss to the local labor forces.

In the recently released county unemployment rates and employment data for March 2023 were released on Tuesday by the Employment Security Department.

The unemployment rate for Grays Harbor fell from the 9.2% rate in February to 7.7% in March, while Pacific fell to 6.8% from the February rate of 8.4%.

In both counties, this change came with a loss to the Civilian Labor Force. Pacific County saw a lesser drop, down approximately 100 in their labor force and a 50 person drop in Total Employment.  Within Grays Harbor, the Civilian Labor Force fell by around 550 people, primarily through a drop among the Total Unemployment.

Despite lower unemployment rates for March, both counties remain within the Top Ten highest rates among counties statewide.

Pacific County, which fell to 12th highest in February, sits at the 10th highest within the state, while Grays Harbor moved from 7th highest to 4th highest overall. As is normal, the only counties higher are within Eastern Washington and Ferry County had the highest rate by over 2.5% at 10.7%.

The lowest unemployment rate statewide was in King and Snohomish counties, at 2.7% and 2.8%.

Within the coastal area, Wahkiakum County also remained elevated, at 5th highest. Clallam, Jefferson, and Mason all sit outside the top ten, at 12,16, and 15 respectively.

Note from ESD:
Unemployment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted because the sample size is too small to accommodate that additional analysis. Therefore, they should not be compared directly to the seasonally adjusted statewide rate that we published last week. (Monthly employment report.)

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Use the historical estimates report to view prior months’ data.

Contact a regional economist: https://esd.wa.gov/labormarketinfo/economists

Labor area summaries: https://esd.wa.gov/labormarketinfo/labor-area-summaries