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News / Business / Clark County Business

November job market heats up, adding 700

Gains came in retail, schools, health care and technical services

By Troy Brynelson, Columbian staff writer
Published: December 27, 2017, 5:17pm

Temperatures may be chilly, but Clark County’s labor market was red-hot in November.

That’s according to the latest labor market report from the state Employment Security Department, released Wednesday, showing the county has logged its seventh consecutive month below 5 percent unemployment.

The unemployment rate actually ticked up slightly, but still stands at 4.5 percent. Clark County also added 700 jobs, when adjusting for seasonal trends.

Without adjusting, the county looks a lot like one trudging through fall. Seasonal layoffs hit construction and food processing, with companies shedding about 500 jobs combined. Meanwhile, holiday shopping led retailers to hire 600 more workers.

Public schools hired another 500; professional, scientific and technical services hired 200 workers; and health care firms hired 100.

By the numbers, November is a rebound from October, where Clark County lost 100 non-seasonal jobs and 1,200 seasonal jobs. It’s not unusual for jobs to rise and fall month to month, such as when jobs fell in August but rebounded in September.

Clark County continues to stand out with the rate at which it adds jobs. Over the past 12 months, it has added 7,500 jobs worth 4.8 percent job growth. The Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area, which encompasses five Oregon counties, as well as Clark and Skamania counties, added 24,800 jobs for 2.1 percent.

Job growth has been 1.4 percent nationwide, 3 percent in Washington and 1.6 percent in Oregon.

Columbian staff writer