As restaurants, retail stores, places of worship, barber shops and nail salons open with capacity restrictions, the unemployment rate has gone down. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

As restaurants, retail stores, places of worship, barber shops and nail salons open with capacity restrictions, the unemployment rate has gone down. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

County unemployment mirrors state trends, drops more than 6%

A state economist said the decline was astounding, but that the economic context must be considered.

EVERETT — June unemployment rates plunged in Snohomish County following a similar statewide trend.

The county’s 9.8% unemployment rate is nearly identical to the Washington state total of 9.7%, according to the Employment Security Department’s figures. For Snohomish County, the rebound was a much-needed respite after April’s historic unemployment of 19.2% and May’s minimal improvement to 16.2%.

State economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said the 6.4% unemployment decrease was astounding, but so too was the original rise.

“It is important to look at the broader context of not only what happened over the month, but what happened over the year and how it all fits together into what is a very unique picture,” said Vance-Sherman, a regional labor economist for the agency covering Northwest Washington.

June’s sharp unemployment decline across Washington was the largest month-to-month reduction since at least 1990. Preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasted a gain of 71,000 jobs in Washington bringing the state’s monthly unemployment rate below the national mark for the first time in 2020.

Countywide, 500 jobs were added in June, with the retail trade industry, specifically general merchandise and food and beverage stores, adding the most jobs.

Still, since June 2019, Snohomish County has seen a decrease of 28,900 jobs and 44,000 people remain unemployed. The government sector was battered the worst with a loss of 900 jobs.

“There are going to be some jobs that will snap right back, because you have that pent-up demand with more certainty in the environment,” Vance-Sherman said. “I also don’t expect all of the jobs to bounce right back.”

Throughout the state, the 12.4% unemployment rate in Grays Harbor and Ferry counties was the highest. Counties in southeastern Washington have the lowest unemployment rate including Whitman County at 6.1% and Asotin County’s 6.2% mark.

Nearby, King County is at 9.2% and Skagit County was higher at 11.3%. These numbers may change as they are adjusted for predictable seasonal variation.

As local counties, including Snohomish County, moved into Phase 2 and restaurants, retail stores, places of worship, barber shops and nail salons open with capacity restrictions, Vance-Sherman said a correlation in the unemployment rate has been evident.

“I think there is less uncertainty around what activities can and cannot be done and how they can be done and I think having more certainty leads to the ability to hire more people or bring more people back,” she said. “I see it as changing that environment from highly uncertain to a little bit less uncertain.”

Ian Davis-Leonard: 425-339-3448;; Twitter: @IanDavisLeonard.

Ian Davis-Leonard reports on working class issues through Report for America, a national service program that places emerging journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. To support Ian’s work at The Daily Herald with a tax-deductible donation, go to

Talk to us

More in Local News

Lynnwood’s car tab fee and utility tax on chopping block again

City Council members will talk about repealing them. If they do, the mayor is prepared to veto their actions.

Most of Compass Health’s clinical employees at the Marysville, Monroe and Snohomish sites will transfer to its Everett locations. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Lawsuit blames counselor’s ‘unethical’ relationship for Marysville man’s death

Joshua Klick was referred to a counselor at Compass Health. Two years later he was shot and killed.

Smokey Point Boulevard stretch closed for crash investigation

The road was closed between 136th Street NE and 152nd Street NE after a possibly fatal collision.

Doug Ewing looks out over a small section of the Snohomish River that he has been keeping clean for the last ten years on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the Oscar Hoover Water Access Site in Snohomish, Washington. Ewing scours the shorelines and dives into the depths of the river in search of trash left by visitors, and has removed 59 truckloads of litter from the quarter-mile stretch over the past decade. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Diving for trash in Snohomish River, biologist fills 59 pickup beds

At Thomas’ Eddy, Doug Ewing estimates he has collected 3,000 pounds of lead fishing weights. And that’s just one spot.

Wade Brickman works through a call with trainer Lars Coleman Friday afternoon at SNO911 in Everett, Washington on May 20, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Difference between life and death’: New 911 tech saves vital seconds

Snohomish County is the first in the nation to get the new technology, which reduces delays on emergency calls.

Nuno Taborda
Former Rolls Royce executive to lead Everett aerospace firm

magniX, which builds electric aircraft motors, has hired Nuno Taborda as its next CEO.

Top row (L-R): Rep. Suzan Del Bene, Sen. Keith Wagoner, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Rep. Rick Larsen. Center (L-R): Tamborine Borrelli, Bob Hagglund. Bottom (L-R): Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, Rep. Kim Schrier, Mark Miloscia, Sen. Patty Murray.
As filing ends, campaigning shifts into a higher gear

The ballot will feature intraparty battles, election deniers and 16 challengers to a longtime U.S. senator.

In this April 10 photo, drivers head northbound on Highway 99, near the intersection of Evergreen Way and 112th Street where a motorcyclist was fatally struck by a motorist Friday. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Mountlake Terrace woman arrested in fatal Everett motorcycle crash

Desiree Morin is accused of hitting and killing a motorcyclist while high on methamphetamine. Bail was set at $50,000.

Marysville to pay $3.5M to former students for alleged sex abuse

The district settled the lawsuit over incidents from the 1980s. Kurt Hollstein remained employed until June 2021.

Most Read