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April slowest month for Clark County job growth in 2018 so far

County outpacing nation as a whole over past 12 months

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
2 Photos
In April, Clark County gained 300 jobs in Leisure and Hospitality, which includes food service workers.
In April, Clark County gained 300 jobs in Leisure and Hospitality, which includes food service workers. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Clark County netted 200 jobs in April when adjusting for seasonal trends, a positive gain, yet slower than in the first three months of the year.

That’s according to a Tuesday report from the state Employment Security Department, which also noted that unemployment stood at 5.1 percent for the month. The jobless rate is down from March’s 5.3 percent but up slightly from April 2017, which was 4.9 percent.

The report also found that March’s previously reported 400 new hires, seasonally adjusted, were actually closer to 1,000 new hires. The report said that gain is owed to stronger than expected hiring in construction.

If April is not revised upwards, too, it would be the weakest month for job growth so far in 2018.

January and March both gained by 1,000 new hires, while February clocked in with 700 new hires.

Without adjusting for seasonal trends, April was a good month to find work in a few sectors. Trade, transportation and utilities added 400 jobs — largely in retail — while leisure and hospitality hired 300.

Clark County has added 6,700 jobs over the last 12 months, amounting to 4.3 percent job growth.

That outpaces the country as a whole, at 1.5 percent; Washington, at 2.8 percent; and the rest of the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area, at 2.7 percent.

That job growth rate will likely drop next month. More than 400 jobs will be lost due to layoffs at Georgia-Pacific in Camas and at Lionbridge Technologies in Vancouver.

And about 1,000 new hires at ilani, the casino that opened in April 2017, will be too old to be counted.

The unemployment rate for the state of Washington in April was 4.8 percent, which was unchanged from March.

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