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County jobless rate rises to 8.7% in January

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By Michelle Dunlop
Herald Writer
Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 11:34 a.m.
The Snohomish County unemployment rate shot up in January to 8.7 percent from 8 percent in December as more people resumed job searches in the first month of 2012.
About 34,000 people were unemployed in the county in January, compared to 30,650 people who were jobless in December, according to a report released Tuesday by the state Employment Security Department. The department revised the county unemployment rate for December downward slightly, to 8 percent from 8.2 percent.
The January rise in joblessness in the county isn't unexpected.
In January, Employment Security Department regional economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman noted that the county's unemployment rate in December didn't capture the anticipated layoffs at the Kimberly-Clark mill in Everett, which planned to slash 700 jobs by the end of March as a result of the paper and pulp mill's closure.
Tuesday's report indicates the county lost 400 jobs in the natural resources and mining industry between December and January.
And retail businesses, which tend to reduce payrolls after the holiday season, dropped 400 positions in Snohomish County in January. Employment at general merchandise stores also declined by 400 jobs.
The county aerospace industry continued to add positions in January, increasing to 43,700 jobs from 43,500 in December.
The state unemployment rate was slightly higher than Snohomish County's -- at 8.9 percent for January.
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