Unemployment rates drop in region

C.O. sees fewer Nov. job losses than normal

Despite the unemployment rates increasing in each county last month, the Eastern Panhandle continued to lead the state with the lowest jobless rates of West Virginia's 55 counties, according to a report released Wednesday by WorkForce West Virginia.

November's previous all-time low of 7.2 percent came in 2008.

Neighboring counties also reported lower unemployment rates: Kittitas, 4.5 percent, Benton, 4.9 percent; Klickitat, 5.0 percent; Grant, 5.7 percent and Franklin, 5.7 percent.

Despite the decline in Yakima County's decline in unemployment rate, it's still above the statewide rate of 4.2 percent. Economists look past the official unemployment rate - that 4.5 percent figure, also known as the "U-3" - to other measures of jobs in this country. Wilson County's rate in November represented 1,880 unemployed workers compared to a 69,750-person workforce and does not include those who did not file with the labor department or no longer receive benefits.

"Private-sector employers added 52,000 jobs in November and have accounted for the addition of 294,600 positions in Texas over the past year", said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. Losses were partially offset by a gain in the Construction (4,900) sector.

In November there were 18,945 online job openings in Idaho compared with 22,215 in November 2016.

Over the past 12 months, nonfarm employment in Cowlitz County increased by an estimated 2,000 jobs (5.1 percent).

"While unemployment rates remain near historically low levels in many counties, there are still areas that need our assistance", Commissioner Phillips said. Smaller over-the-year declines were estimated in wood product manufacting, information, and wholesale trade, all down by 30 jobs over the year. Four counties were at or above 5 percent — Clearwater, 6 percent; Shoshone, 5.5 percent; Lewis, 5.5 percent; and Adams, 5 percent. Manufacturing added 100 jobs.

Government employment added 120 jobs since November 2016.

These preliminary estimates of jobs and other labor force data are produced in cooperation with the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, are based largely on a survey of businesses and a survey of households, and are subject to later revision.

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