Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Sept. 30, 2020

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Job growth remains strong in Clark County

Gains made in a broad range of industries during October

By , Columbian Business Editor

Clark County added 700 jobs during October, when adjusting for seasonal factors, with strong gains in a broad range of professional and services industries.

The estimated unemployment rate in October was at 5.6 percent, down from 7.1 percent in October 2014. Unemployment for the month was the lowest since December 2007.

“Both initial and continued unemployment claims dipped over the month, reducing their already rock-bottom levels,” said Scott Bailey, regional labor economist for the state Employment Security Department, in his monthly jobs report released Tuesday

Job growth remained strong, with 6,400 jobs added over the year. That 4.4 percent job increase was stronger than that of the larger Portland metro region, which was up by 3.2 percent over the year; the state of Washington, with a 2.8 percent jobs increase; and Oregon, with 3.5 percent job growth over the year. Nationally, jobs have increased by 2 percent over the year.

Without seasonal adjustment, Clark County employment rose from September by 200 jobs to 152,700 jobs, compared to a one-month loss of 500 jobs in October 2014.

Monthly job increases in the education sector, where employment ramps up in the fall, more than offset seasonal declines in entertainment, recreation, hospitality and food service sectors.

“The big industries for job creation were identical to last month,” Bailey said in his report.

Those include trade, transportation and utilities, which added 1,400 jobs over the year; construction and mining, with 1,000 jobs added; leisure and hospitality, 800 new jobs; financial services and professional and business services, with both categories adding 700 jobs.

“The fact that so many industries are listed shows the diversity in job creation,” he wrote.

Manufacturing employment showed a loss of 100 jobs over the year. Transportation equipment, down 300 jobs for the year, “continues to act as a drag, Bailey wrote.

Other than manufacturing, every major sector has grown in employment over the year, Bailey said. Notably, government payrolls have expanded by 900 jobs, or 3.7 percent, with the gains coming entirely in kindergarten through 12th grade education, Bailey said.