Report: Lewis County Unemployment Rate Rises to 4.7%; State Rate Stands at 5%

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On the tail end of the lowest monthly unemployment rate seen since the start of the pandemic, Lewis County in October saw a slight 0.1% increase in its rate to 4.7%, according to new employment data published Tuesday by the state Employment Security Department (ESD).

ESD reports Lewis County had a civilian labor force of about 34,500 during the month of October. Of that population, roughly 32,865 were employed and 1,635 were unemployed.

In comparison, Lewis County in October 2020 reported an unemployment rate of 6.2%.

“The state has been making continued progress toward recovering jobs lost during the pandemic. Constraints that may have prevented workers from re-entering the labor market are easing, and more workers appear to be taking advantage of the high availability of jobs,” ESD Economist Paul Turek said in a Nov. 17 statement.

Jobless claims for benefits have also been on the decline.

Statewide in October, Washington’s economy grew by a slim 6,300 jobs and reported a seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 5%, according to ESD, signaling a slow rebound of hiring when compared with national numbers. In the leadup to the shopping season, Washington added just 2,800 retail jobs during October.

Nationwide, unemployment stands at a seasonally-adjusted rate of 4.6%.

More than 9,300 state government and education workers were also laid off during that period, according to ESD. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, manufacturing jobs surged and increased by roughly 6,000.

In neighboring Thurston County, the unemployment rate remained the lowest in Western Washington. During the month of October, the unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 3.8%.

In Grays Harbor County, unemployment rose 0.2% to 5.8%. Down south in Cowlitz County, unemployment fell 0.1% to 4.7%.

Unemployment is down significantly when compared with rates reported this time last year in those counties.