People of Northwest Public Radio
Wed July 16, 2014
Washington Jobless Rate At 6-Year Low, But Rural Counties Lag
Washington’s jobless rate has dropped to below 6 percent. That's the lowest level in six years. That’s according to the June jobs report released Wednesday. Seattle’s King County is leading the recovery. But most Washington counties remain above the statewide average. And some rural counties of the state are much higher.
As of May, two Washington counties still had jobless rates over 10 percent: Grays Harbor on the coast and Ferry County in northeast Washington. That’s the part of the state Kerry Burke oversees. He’s a regional manager for Washington’s jobs program. Burke says King County’s job growth is actually good for the people in his rural pocket of the state.
“We can say King County is looking for workers, would you want to consider that. That’s an option," Burke said. "The other side of that one is when King County starts showing good signs, our area eventually follows.”
Burke says there are signs of a slow job recovery in northeast Washington. Unemployment is down nearly ten points in Ferry County since the peak of joblessness in 2010. Meanwhile, Oregon’s unemployment rate held steady at around 7 percent in June.
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