Skagit County’s unemployment rate was 12.2% in July, the eighth highest of Washington’s 39 counties.

That’s according to information released on Aug. 25 from the state Employment Security Department. Of neighboring counties, Whatcom’s unemployment rate was 11.8%; Island, 10.3%; San Juan, 10%; and Snohomish, 8.8%.

Statewide, the unemployment rate was 10.3%, the department reported.

The number of people unemployed in Skagit County was 11.1% in the previous month, and — illustrating the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic — was 5.2% a year earlier.

All told, 3,756 Skagit County residents were collecting unemployment benefits in mid-August, according to data on the Employment Security Department website, and 320 had filed initial claims for benefits.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect multiple employment sectors, regional labor economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman, Ph.D., reported. The biggest year-over-year job losses were in leisure and hospitality, 35.1%; federal employment, 20%; and construction, 16.3%. The sole gains were in retail trade, 11.1%; and trade, transportation, warehousing and utilities, 3%, Vance-Sherman reported.


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