Whatcom County’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly four years, with the private sector adding 2,400 jobs in the past year.
Whatcom’s unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in October, down from a revised rate of 6.9 percent in September. It’s the lowest monthly rate locally since December 2008.
Year-over-year job growth took place in most local private sectors, led by trade/transportation (adding 600 people in the past year) and manufacturing (up 500). The number of people employed in manufacturing locally was estimated to be 9,100 in October, the highest monthly total since September 2008.
The public sector shed 200 jobs in the past year, all of which came in the local government sector.
Whatcom’s unemployment rate remains significantly lower than nearby counties, including Skagit (8.1 percent in October), Snohomish (7.1 percent) and even King County (6.5 percent). The lowest county unemployment rate was in San Juan (5.1 percent), while the highest was in Wahkiakum (11.7 percent).
October is typically the month Whatcom posts the lowest unemployment rate as schools get into full swing and holiday hiring begins.
Washington’s unemployment rate, seasonably adjusted, was 8.2 percent last month.
This story will be updated.