Southwest Washington continued adding jobs last month, a trend that has generally persisted in the region since the early days of the pandemic.
Clark County added 1,100 nonfarm jobs in November, a number which was seasonally adjusted.
The county saw what regional economist Scott Bailey called “above-trend hiring” in construction, manufacturing, business services and accommodations and food services.
Over the past year, Clark County’s employment was up 5.4 percent, or 9,600 jobs. The industries growing faster than average during that time were arts, entertainment and recreation; business services; other services; health care and social assistance; professional services; private education services; construction; mining and logging and wholesale trade.
Industries gaining jobs more slowly than the average over the year are state government; local government; corporate offices; manufacturing; transportation services and retail trade. Public education (K-12) saw no change in employment numbers over the year, while real estate, rental and leasing lost 100 jobs, and the federal government lost 300 jobs locally.
The county has gained 14,300 net jobs since the onset of the pandemic hit in February 2020 — an 8.4 percent increase. The job numbers grew nationally, meanwhile, by 0.7 percent, as the state’s numbers grew by 1.9 percent. Job numbers in Oregon grew by 0.8 percent, the Seattle metro area grew by 0.9 percent and the Portland metro area grew by 1.3 percent.
According to Bailey, who is an economist with Washington’s Employment Security Department, the county’s labor market also fared better than any other in the state.
Nearly every employment sector has recovered, according to Bailey, with the exceptions being arts, entertainment and recreation and government.
More Clark County residents were unemployed in November preliminary reports from the employment department show. The county’s unemployment rate was estimated to be 4.6 percent this November, while it was 4.1 percent last November. Though, Bailey says this is still low.
The state’s unemployment rate also rose slightly over October’s revised numbers, as well as last November’s revised numbers. This past month, there was a preliminary unemployment rate of 4.2 percent across the state with 3,821,532 people working and 167,732 unemployed. October’s revised rate sat at 3.6 percent and the November rate for 2021 was 3.9 percent.