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News / Business / Clark County Business

Clark County loses 250 jobs in April

Trade, health care add jobs amid first monthly loss since September

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: May 26, 2023, 5:22pm

Clark County lost 250 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in April as employers reduced their payrolls for the first time in months.

It’s the first monthly loss since September, according to the Washington Employment Security Department’s regional economist, Scott Bailey.

“Employment gains averaged almost 1,000 jobs a month over the previous six months, so a break in hiring was not unexpected,” said Bailey.

There were about 185,800 people employed in the county in April.

Despite a small overall job loss, some sectors continued growing. Trade, transportation and utilities added 100 jobs compared with March, a boost Bailey credits to hiring at general merchandise stores. Hospitals and nursing care facilities saw a pickup in employment, with health care adding 200 jobs in the month.

With summer around the corner, it’s no wonder 300 jobs were added in leisure and hospitality, mostly in arts, entertainment and recreation.

Meanwhile, professional and businesses services lost 200 jobs. There were 100 jobs lost in professional services, which Bailey said has been “the hottest industry” over the past three years.

Construction, manufacturing, information services, finance and “other services” all stayed steady in April, according to the employment department’s report.

Since April 2022, total employment in Clark County has grown by 6,100 with no major sectors losing jobs.

Private education services; arts, entertainment and recreation; professional services; real estate, rental and leasing; health care and social assistance; federal government; information services; corporate offices; accommodations and food services; other services; local government and business services all grew faster in the last year than the average of all industries.

Meanwhile, state government; wholesale trade; construction, mining and logging; and K-12 private education all added jobs, but at a rate slower than the average of all the industries.

Retail trade; transportation services; finance and insurance; and manufacturing saw no change since April 2022.

Clark County’s unemployment rate sat at 4 percent, lower than the 4.4 percent in April 2022.