More local jobs, but unemployment still up

October saw more government jobs come on locally, but fewer Kitsap residents working overall.

Kitsap County’s unemployment rate — which includes Kitsap residents working in and outside the county — ticked up by 1 percent from September to October, landing at 6.2 percent.

The jump was due to two factors, according to a preliminary jobs report released by the Employment Security Department last week .

First, about 560 fewer Kitsap residents had jobs in October than in September (see chart below). Second, the county’s labor force (the total number of people with jobs or actively looking for work) grew by 550.

The combination of fewer people working and more unemployed people hunting for jobs raised the county’s total of unemployed to 7,090 (this doesn’t include people who’ve given up looking for work).

The month-to-month change isn’t as troubling as the year-over-year comparison, though. About 670 fewer Kitsap residents were working in October than in October 2013. The labor force dropped by nearly 900 over the same period.

The chart below illustrates both trends:

Jobs in Kitsap

There was better news on the local jobs front, as employers within Kitsap County brought on more workers in October.

For starters, local employment numbers for September was much better than initially estimated. The total number of people working for Kitsap employers in September was revised from 83,700 to 85,400.

That number continued to climb in October, finishing at 86,300, according to preliminary numbers:

The gain from September to October was attributed to government jobs. Federal and local governments added an estimated 1,000 workers, while employment in the private sector remained flat.

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