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News / Business / Clark County Business

Clark County economy continued to show strength in November

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian Business Editor
Published: December 22, 2015, 3:47pm

Clark County’s economy continued to show strength in November, with new 300 jobs and a solid 4 percent job growth rate during the past 12 months, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

The monthly report notes that Clark County has added 5,900 jobs during the past year. Clark County’s 4 percent growth rate compares to a 1.9 percent increase for the nation; 2.5 percent for the state of Washington; 3.6 percent for Oregon; and 3.3 percent for the Portland metropolitan area.

Unemployment in Clark County dropped to an estimated 5.6 percent, the lowest rate since December 2007 and more than a point and a half lower than in November 2014, the Employment Security Department reported.

In numbers not adjusted for seasonal variations, retail trade rose by 500 jobs, an expected pattern in the early holiday season. Education added 400 jobs, with three-fourths of the increase in public schools and the rest in private schools. Seasonal slowdowns reduced construction and business services each by 200 jobs and food processing by 400 jobs.

Job-creating industries tracked the same pattern as in October. Employment in trade, transportation and utilities grew by 5.1 percent. Construction and mining jobs were up 9.9 percent, financial services employment grew by 9.5 percent and leisure and hospitality climbed by 6.9 percent. Other strong job engines were in the professional and business services category, up 4 percent, and education and health services, up 2.8 percent.

“Diversified job creation continued to be the norm,” wrote Scott Bailey, the Employment Security Department’s regional economist.

Manufacturing, with a loss of 100 jobs over the year, was the only sector of the economy to show decline. But that statistical conclusion “was due in part to the wonders of rounding,” Bailey wrote. The unrounded number shows a slight gain, even with the loss of 300 jobs in transportation equipment, he said.

Columbian Business Editor