County's unemployment rate 4th highest in state
April 23, 2020
Wahkiakum County's rate of unemployment tied for fourth highest in Washington for the month of March.
According to the Employment Security Department report issued Tuesday, the county's unemployment rate was 7.1 percent, with 95 people in the county's 1,330 person labor force out of work.
Ferry County's rate led the state at 12.8 percent. Pend Oreille and Okanogan counties hit 8 percent, Stevens 7.9 percent, and Wahkiakum and Grant 7.1 percent.
Pacific County was fifth at 6.9 percent, with 576 out of 8,386 out of work. Cowlitz County's rate was 5.6 percent, close to the statewide rate of 5.1 percent, which was up from 3.8 percent in February.
Whitman County had the lowest rate in the state at 3.6 percent in March.
The report for April will be much different because of the economic slowdown resulting from covid-19 virus sheltering in place and restrictions on economic activities.
"With the launch of new benefits Saturday night, the Employment Security Department received more applications (including expanded, extended and traditional benefits) in a single day than the biggest week on record, which was 182,000 applications in the week ending March 28," the department reported Monday. "For comparison, the 182,000 applications in a week was already seven times the peak week for the 2008/2009 recession."