Clark County made no real progress in shrinking its unemployment in December, reporting a preliminary unemployment rate of 9.2 percent that could climb to 11.4 percent after unemployed county residents who work in Oregon are added into the count, said state regional economist Scott Bailey.
The report issued Tuesday by the Washington Employment Security Department shows that Clark County added only 200 jobs, or two-tenths of a percent, during the last year, said Bailey, the department’s regional economist for Southwest Washington. November’s jobless rate, which had been 8.8 percent without the Oregon unemployment numbers, rose to 11 percent with the Oregon numbers added.
Statewide, the December unemployment rate was estimated at 8.6 percent without seasonal adjustment, little changed from November but significantly below the December 2010 rate of 9.2 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 8.5 percent, seasonally adjusted. Using a broader measure that includes discouraged workers who have stopped looking for jobs and part-time workers who want full employment, the U.S. unemployment rate for December is estimated at 15.2 percent.
Oregon’s unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in December, down from 10.3 percent the previous December. Portland-area unemployment numbers for the month were not available due to flooding in state employment offices in Salem, Ore.
The U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday that unemployment fell in 37 states in December, rose in three and remained unchanged in 10. That’s similar to November, when joblessness declined in 43 states, and October, when it dropped in 36.