Lewis County’s unemployment rate has finally seen the drop economic analysts have been expecting, as numbers from April released this morning by the Washington State Employment Security Department reflect a current jobless rate of 13.2 percent.
That’s more than a full point lower than Lewis County’s March’s rate of 14.4 percent, and just over a half-percent better than April 2010’s rate of 13.8 percent. It’s the first major drop reported this year, as the average unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2011 hovered around 14.4 percent.
Employment Security reported 320 people having been hired in nonfarm jobs in April, bringing Lewis County’s total nonfarm workforce to 22,830. The year 2011 began with 22,310 people being employed in non-agricultural work.
The job sectors that saw the biggest month-over-month jump from March to April were service providing, with 280 jobs gained, and government, with 180. However, non-farm employment is down 210 jobs from April 2010.
As for unemployment claims, Employment Security reported 853 new claims filed in April, along with 1,750 continued claims and 117 exhausted claims. Continued claims, which are described as those who continue to draw unemployment compensation checks from the state, are down 459 from April 2010.
For more, pick up a copy of Wednesday’s edition of The Chronicle.
Christopher Brewer: (360) 807-8235