Snohomish County jobless rate climbs to 10.1 percent

  • By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, July 26, 2011 10:50am
  • Business

After months of declines, Snohomish County’s jobless rate shot back up to 10.1 percent in June, as youth and summer job seekers entered the market.

The county’s “unemployment rate tends to spike in June, and this year was no exception,” said Anneliese Vance-Sherman, a regional economist for the Employment Security Department, in her monthly report released Tuesday.

Roughly 38,020 people in the county were out of work in June, up from 34,620 county residents who were jobless in May, when the county reported an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent. About 339,720 people were in employed in the county last month.

The spike in unemployment in June, however, is not uncommon, wrote Vance-Sherman. With the end of the school year, high school students joined seasonal education workers seeking summer employment in June.

Typically, several industries, like construction and tourism-related services, tend to hire in the summer.

However, youth summer employment has declined drastically over the past few years, pushing up the county’s jobless rate.

Vance-Sherman noted several positive signs in the county’s employment trend, including the continued increase in industries like construction and manufacturing.

“Construction has suffered losses above and beyond many industries since the downturn was first felt in Snohomish County in 2008,” she wrote.

But the county has added jobs in the industry for five consecutive months. However, construction workers still make up the largest share of people filing unemployment claims in the county.

Manufacturing employment is at the highest it has been throughout the recession and recovery. Aerospace leads the way in that sector, adding 900 jobs in June.

Also adding jobs in June was the leisure and hospitality industry, which increased by 400 positions.

The county’s unemployment rate remains higher than the state’s rate of 9.3 percent in June, up slightly from 9 percent in May. However, Snohomish County’s unemployment rate is down from 10.5 percent in June 2010.

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