There are glimpses of progress on the jobs front here in Clark County. An article last month in the Columbia reported that the county’s preliminary unemployment rate in July was 9 percent. However, that rate is expected to be revised upward to just under 11 percent to account for unemployed Clark County residents who previously worked in Oregon. This is an improvement over the previous July. Most of these jobs were due to strong private sector growth which added over 1600 people to the workforce. Government shed about 800 jobs, so there was a net of 800, or growth of 1.6 %.
This mirrors the results of the entire state of Washington which ranked 13th nationally in job growth from July of 2011 to July of 2012 at a rate of 1.89 %. City of Seattle actually ranked higher – 4th in the country at 2.9% according to research by professor Lee McPheters of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, who used the latest statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.