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News / Business / Clark County Business

Clark County’s strong November job market beats state numbers

Construction, manufacturing among the winners

By Will Campbell, Columbian Associate Editor
Published: December 21, 2021, 6:01pm

Clark County’s job market enjoyed another strong month in November, adding 1,200 nonfarm jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Sectors that showed strength included construction, manufacturing, business services, health care and accommodations and food services.

“It was another good month for the job markets,” said Scott Bailey, the state’s regional labor economist for Southwest Washington. “We’re seeing more and more recovery, industry by industry, from the COVID recession.”

The county’s unemployment rate in November was about 3.4 percent, based on the Washington State Employment Security Department’s estimate. That rate will be revised in the future when more data is available.

About 8,300 residents in Clark County are unemployed, compared with more than 15,800 a year ago.

Unadjusted, employment increased by 600 jobs in November, with private businesses accounting for 400 of those jobs. Construction laid off 100 people, and manufacturing laid off 200 people, both of which are fewer than usual.

Retailers hired 300 holiday seasonal workers, slightly fewer than normal. Health care increased by 200 jobs and K-12 education increased by 200 jobs.

Overall, jobs are up by about 1 percent compared with the pre-pandemic peak in Clark County. That’s better than Washington, Oregon, Portland and the national job markets. Each of those markets is at least 2 percent below pre-pandemic employment.

“We’re doing better here in comparison,” Bailey said.