County jobless rates up in January

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After months of employment gains, the job picture in Seattle and across Washington state has leveled off to remain at its best rate in nine years.

"Typical seasonal job losses in leisure and hospitality and construction finally showed up after a sustained period of activity", said Paul Turek, labor economist with the Employment Security Department.

It was the 27th consecutive year unemployment increased in January, compared to December. Allen County's unemployment rate was again the highest among neighboring counties, increasing from 5.0 percent in December 2016 to 6.2 percent in January.

There were 87,600 in the labor force: 83,100 employed and 4,500 unemployed, matching the numbers from one year ago, when unemployment was initially reported as 5.1 percent, then later revised to 5.0 percent.

A new report shows Missouri's jobless rate has dropped slightly. The comparable unemployment rate for OH was 6 percent in January, meaning Allen and Hardin counties were above the statewide average. The unemployment rate in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area was 3.7 percent. Keyes had a rate of 14.6 percent in January, up from the 13.5 percent in December. There were 3,500 unemployed in December, and the rate was 4.0.

Unlike the county jobless rates, the statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, and the statewide rate was the same in January as in December, 5 percent.

The number of county residents receiving unemployment benefits reflected the significant increase in the jobless rate, with the number of people getting benefits increasing from 2,721 in December to 4,045 last month.