Sunday, April 11, 2021
April 11, 2021

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Hiring slows in Clark County, still positive amid ‘steady’ economy

Adjusted for seasonal trends, May year’s 2nd-slowest month

By , Columbian staff writer

Hiring in Clark County slowed but stayed positive in May, netting 360 jobs according to the state Employment Security Department.

A new report Tuesday showed that new jobs cropped up across various sectors, and no single sector hired significantly more than the others, said regional economist Scott Bailey.

Without adjusting for the seasonal trends, however, May brought 1,400 jobs to Clark County. Leisure and hospitality hired 300 people for the second consecutive month, while the sectors of retail and business services each added 200 jobs.

“Another good month,” Bailey said, noting that the only sector to lose jobs was information services.

May is the second-slowest month for hiring so far this year for the county, when adjusting for seasonal trends. April hired just 200, while February hired 700 and January and March both hired 1,000. In May 2017, Clark County businesses hired about 500 workers.

Although hiring does seem to be slowing somewhat, Bailey said nothing seemed to set off any alarms that the economy would slip into a recession soon.

“It seems like we’re still in this steady state,” he said. “There are no flashing lights.”

He did add that recent federal policies could cause ripples in the economy and the labor force, but it is too soon to tell what that will look like.

“We’ll see how all of these tariffs balance out. I think we’ve all learned we don’t know what the final word is ever going to be,” he said. “The list of goods impacted seems to be expanding and potentially more and more multilateral. So that’s something we’ll be watching very closely.”

Over the last 12 months, Clark County has hired for about 5,900 jobs — without adjusting for seasonal trends — amounting to a 3.7 percent job growth.

That job growth outpaces the country as a whole, at 1.6 percent; Washington, at 2.8 percent; Oregon, at 1.9 percent; and the rest of the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area, at 2.7 percent.

The unemployment rate in May once again clocked in at 4.8 percent, as well.


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