Local unemployment rates rise, but remain at historic lows

The unemployment rates in both Grays Harbor and Pacific counties saw a nearly 1% increase from July to August, according to the latest data.

The Employment Security Department shared the August 2023 unemployment figures at the county level. 

With the increases, the counties remained at 3rd and 4th highest statewide.

Grays Harbor sits at 4th highest in Washington with a 5.5% unemployment rate, seeing an overall loss in the Civilian Labor Force and a greater number using unemployment.

Pacific County holds the 3rd highest unemployment statewide at 5.6%, seeing losses in the Civilian Labor Force and Total Employment alongside an increase in Total Unemployment.

Image from Employment Security Department

Even with the increases, both counties are sitting at a total unemployment rate far lower than the average since 1990.

Grays Harbor has only seen unemployment within the 5% range four times in that time period. This includes July and September of 2022 and September of 2018.

Pacific has seen rates within 5% a total of nine times since 1990, although mostly in ranges closer to 6%.

Both counties are on par to see the lowest yearly average unemployment since figures began being scored as they are today in 1990.

All counties within the state saw a change over the month, with roughly 75% of Washington counties showing an 0.80% or more increase.

Statewide the July rate sat at 3.6%, despite 36 of the state’s 39 counties holding higher rates. Only San Juan, Asotin, and Adams counties have lower unemployment.