Plenty of daily business news happening today. Here’s some of the stuff we’ve been working on:
– Bellingham-based Aluminum Chambered Boats has been awarded a $37.7 million, five-year contract with the U.S. Coast Guard.
The contract is to build up to 80 port security boats. The boats, at just over 32 feet in length, will operate in coastal areas throughout the world and are capable of conducting operations in as little as two feet of water.
With its ballistic protection, the vessel is designed to carry out missions in security and maritime law enforcement as well as search and rescue operations.
– Whatcom County’s unemployment rate plunged in April by a record amount as the number of people employed locally grew by nearly 2,000 people.
This area’s unemployment rate in April was 8 percent, down from 9.5 percent in March, according to the latest statistics from the Washington State Employment Security Department. That’s the biggest month-to-month drop since the ESD started keeping track with current methods in 1990. According to the ESD, 98,300 people were employed in Whatcom County in April, up from 96,390 in March. There were 8,520 people actively seeking work last month, down from 10,140 in March.
Much of the job growth was in seasonal work, such as agriculture, and commuting to jobs outside Whatcom County, said Jim Vleming, a regional labor economist for the state. The total number of non-farm jobs increased by 300 jobs in Whatcom County between March and April. Construction rose by 100 jobs, while manufacturing was up 200. Retail and government were each down by 100.
“While it is a significant drop, it’s important to keep in mind much of it is seasonal and not much of it was in non-farm jobs,” Vleming said. “I expected a bit more of an uptick in areas like construction, but that’s just not happening yet. Industries like construction are still conservative when it comes to hiring.”
– Mojo Music recently completed its Mojo School of Music expansion on Meridian Street, while Black Pearl is making preparations to open a second restaurant in downtown Bellingham.
As always, please let me know what else is going on, and I’ll hop on it.