Snohomish County jobless rate up to 8.3% in June

Snohomish County’s jobless rate has been on the rise the last two months, rising to 8.3 percent in June after hitting a nearly four-year low of 7.1 percent in April.

However, the county’s unemployment rate last month was down from 9.9 percent in June of 2011, according to a report released Tuesday by the Washington Employment Security Department. Compared to a year ago, 10,000 more people are employed in the county.

The county’s revised unemployment rate for May was 7.9 percent.

In June, the county shed 900 government jobs, mainly in education. Employment in education tends to fluctuate seasonally. The information services sector and non-durable goods industry also lost jobs in June in Snohomish County.

The county’s hard-hit construction industry added 500 jobs, including contractor positions, in June. Compared to the previous June, however, the construction industry remains stagnant.

Manufacturing continues to be a bright spot in the county’s employment picture, thanks to hiring at the Boeing Co. and its aerospace supply chain. The aerospace industry added 800 jobs in June and is up by 5,000 positions compared to June 2011.

Service-providing businesses also continue to add jobs in the county. The utilities and transportation sector grew by 400 jobs in June and is up 2,500 jobs over June 2011. Retailers also increased their payrolls by 300 jobs last month. The retail industry employed 2,500 more people last month than in June the previous year.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 3,834 last month, down from 4,583 in June 2011. The county had 8,951 continued claims in June for unemployment benefits while 650 people exhausted their benefits last month.

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