Clark County sees solid March job growth

1,000 jobs added; unemployment falls to 5.5 percent

By Troy Brynelson, Columbian staff writer

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March was yet another strong month of employment growth for Clark County, according to data released Tuesday by the state Employment Security Department.

The county added 1,000 jobs in March, adjusted for seasonal trends, as Ilani hired hundreds for its new casino resort.

Unemployment dropped to 5.5 percent.

Just about every sector added jobs, according to the department’s preliminary calculations. The trade and hospitality sectors made the biggest strides by adding 300 jobs, while construction, business services and government added 200 jobs.

Manufacturing employment was flat, and information services lost 100 jobs.

Clark County is once again outpacing its peers in terms of employment growth. The county has added 4,500 jobs over the past year, a 3 percent increase. Portland’s job market has grown by 2 percent in that same time frame; Oregon, 2.2 percent; Washington, 2.9 percent; and the United States, 1.6 percent.

Construction accounts for the biggest chunk of year-over-year Clark County job growth. That sector has added 1,000 jobs since March 2016.