Unemployment rate increases locally; Grays Harbor and Pacific counties not in top 5 highest

Grays Harbor and Pacific County unemployment increased from December to January but is a decrease from January 2023.

The latest figures from the Employment Security Department show that while the coastal counties saw an increase in January, they fell from 4th and 5th highest in December to 6th for Grays Harbor and 8th for Pacific in the first month of 2024.

Grays Harbor added approximately 325 to the Total Unemployment, while also adding 775 to the local Civilian Labor Force.

Pacific saw a decrease of 45 from their Total Unemployment while adding 50 to their Labor Force.

When looking at the January figures over the years locally, both counties show consistent unemployment rate increases between December and January. In 2023 the counties saw an 8.8% rate for Grays Harbor and 8.4% in Pacific.

The January numbers this year are lower than the average January rates since 1991. The only months lower for the month in Grays Harbor were in 2022, 2020, 2019, and 2018. 

For Pacific, the 8% rate is lower than all January rates except for 2022, 2020, 2017, and tied with 2006.

The Pacific labor force has decreased in 2024 as compared to those years, with Grays Harbor declining overall minus the 2018 rate. Since 1991 the total Civilian Labor Force has increased overall for both counties, although both have declined since last January.

Ferry County once again holds the highest unemployment rate, sitting at 11.1%, followed by Wahkiakum, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, and Yakima counties for the five highest statewide.