Whatcom County’s unemployment rate hit the lowest level in a year as some growth took place in non-farm employment.
The local unemployment rate in October was 7.6 percent, down from a revised rate of 7.9 percent in September. The last time it was this low was October 2010, according to data from the Washington State Employment Security Department.
In the past year, non-farm employment increased by 2,100 people. Much of the non-farm job growth in the past 12 months took place in manufacturing (up 500 year over year) and transportation/warehousing (up 700). Job numbers declined in a variety of industries in the past year, including leisure/hospitality (down 100) and professional services (down 100).
Whatcom’s unemployment rate remained lower than several nearby counties, including Skagit (8.9 percent in October), Snohomish (8.7 percent) and King (7.9 percent). At 6.1 percent, Walla Walla and Garfield had the lowest unemployment rates in the state. Ferry County had the highest last month, at 12.4 percent.