Friday, October 15, 2021
Oct. 15, 2021

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Clark County jobs picture brighter

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Clark County’s economy took an encouraging step forward in July as jobs returned at a good pace.

The county’s unemployment rate in July was estimated to be about 4.6 percent, compared with 12 percent in July 2020. There are still about 11,015 unemployed residents in the county.

“Looking back to original projections, we have come faster than was previously anticipated,” said Scott Bailey, regional economist for Southwest Washington. “I think the stimulus has really helped with that. Unemployment has come down quite a bit, and claims have come down quite a bit. Job growth has been pretty robust.”

In July, the county lost 500 jobs, which was expected due to summer-related layoffs in education. With those anticipated losses, the adjustment estimate showed that Clark County gained 500 jobs.

Since February 2020, eight industries have seen increases in employment: professional services, private education, transportation, federal government, retail trade, health care, construction, and finance and insurance.

Seven industries since February 2020 have had sizeable declines in available jobs: business services, “other services,” local government, K-12 education, state government, accommodations and food services, and arts and entertainment.

In that time period, Clark County has lost 2,600 jobs, 1.5 percent of its pre-COVID employment. That’s respectively a lower lost-jobs percentage than the nation, the states of Washington and Oregon, and the cities of Seattle and Portland.