Tuesday, May 11, 2021
May 11, 2021

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Clark County unemployment claims continue to fall

Seasonal hiring contributing to improving numbers

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

The best statistic to reflect Clark County’s job market is the total continued unemployment insurance claims filed every week by residents. Thankfully, it continued a downward trend last week, according to Scott Bailey, regional labor economist for Southwest Washington. Claims fell from 14,585 to 14,537.

“We’ve seen a slow decline in total continued claims since the first of the year,” Bailey said. “However, much of that has been a seasonal improvement.”

Regular continued claims also continued to trend downward, dropping from 3,486 to 3,211, or an 8 percent drop.

About 525 regular initial claims were filed last week, down from 619 the previous week but almost the same as 524 the week before. The most initial claims came from construction workers in the industrial category, with 61 claims. Management, with 114 claims, was tops for occupational groups.

The number of long-term unemployed residents of Clark County is climbing. People who receive federal-extended benefits (Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation) rose last week from 5,937 to 6,148, which is a 4 percent increase. Claims for another extended benefits program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, slightly increased by 19 last week to 5,167.

“They have held steady for the past six weeks,” Bailey said.

Accommodations and food services is still the most-suffering sector. Claims totaled 1,229 with workers from full-service restaurants accounting for about half of that.

Retail trade had 800 total claims last week, construction had 795 claims, health care had 764, and manufacturing had 663 total claims.

“These industries have been pretty consistently the most impacted during the pandemic,” Bailey said.

Will Campbell: will.campbell@columbian.com; 360-735-4507; twitter.com/wtcampbell