Tag Archives: unemployment

Strong first quarter for jobs in Kitsap


Kitsap County is enjoying its highest job levels since 2008.

An average of 86,500 people worked for employers within the county in the first quarter of 2015, a 3 percent improvement from the same period of 2014.

Employment was up about 2 percent from last year among private companies in Kitsap and 4 percent among government agencies, according to data from the state Employment Security Department.

On the private side, some of the largest gains came from the areas of retail trade and leisure/hospitality.

The growth in government jobs was largely from federal employment, which increased from about 16,400 in the first quarter of 2014 to 17,400 in the first quarter of 2015.

Here’s a graphical look at jobs trends in Kitsap:


Employment/labor force

General employment among Kitsap County residents showed slight improvement in the first quarter.

An average of 108,373 county residents were employed during the first three months of the year, an increase of about 540 from the same period of 2014.

The labor force — the total number of people working or seeking work — was also up slightly in the first quarter, despite a dropoff in March.

Kitsap County finished March with a 5.7 percent unemployment rate, reflecting a modest gain in employment and the dip in the labor force.

Here’s a graphical look at employment and labor force trends in Kitsap:

Strong jobs numbers carry through February


Kitsap County enjoyed a strong start to the year on the employment front, with more jobs and more county residents working in January than in previous years.

That momentum carried through February, with solid, if less robust, employment numbers.

Jobs in Kitsap

The number of people working for Kitsap employers in February dipped slightly from January, but was still 2.5 percent higher than in February 2014, according to preliminary data from the Employment Security Department. 

Both private companies and government agencies in Kitsap employed more people in February than at the same time in 2014.

Here’s a graphical look at jobs in Kitsap County:


Labor force and employment

Overall employment numbers for Kitsap residents were less encouraging. haggen

The labor force — the total number of county residents working or actively looking for work — shrank between January to February, and was smaller than in February 2014.

Employment followed a similar trend, sliding from about 108,800 Kitsap resident working in January to 108,070 in February.

Here’s a graphical look at labor force and employment trends:

Kitsap saw gradual job growth in 2014

safeboatsKitsap’s employment picture became a little brighter in 2014.

Kitsap County employers added jobs for the second straight year in 2014, with hiring expected to accelerate through 2015.

Employment among the county’s residents, which has declined steadily since 2008, showed signs of stabilizing.

We’ll look at both trends, starting with job creation in Kitsap.

Jobs in Kitsap County

Employers are still digging out from the economic recession in many sectors.

home constrAfter years of local job losses, the county is finally seeing gradual job gains, according to data from the Employment Security Department.

There were an average of 85,100 jobs in Kitsap last year, compared with 83,800 in 2013, a 1.5 percent increase.

The county is still about 2,300 jobs short of its 2006 employment peak.

Margaret Hess of WorkSource Kitsap said hiring activity was noticeably improved last year. The WorkSource has been hosting frequent hiring events with employers. Job openings at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard drew a great deal of interest.

“We’re really positive,” Hess said. “Things are looking up.”

Regional state economist Jim Vleming said he expects hiring to accelerate in several sectors this year, including construction and recreation/leisure.

“We’re definitely going in the right direction,” he said.

Here’s a graphical look at longterm Kitsap job trends:


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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.

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September employment: local jobs lull continues

Employment was looking up in Kitsap County for the first seven months of the year.

That changed in August when employment took a dive. The 83,700 working for Kitsap employers in September was roughly the same as in the previous two years:

Jobs in Kitsap | Create Infographics

Private employment remained steady from August to September, according to the Employment Security Department. Government employment fell by 100.


Employment was also down among Kitsap County residents in September. About 880 fewer people were employed last month than in August.

The labor force, the number of people working or actively seeking work, also shrank over the same period, keeping the county’s unemployment rate steady at 5.3 percent.

Despite the dip from August, 290 more people were employed in September than at the same time in 2013. Overall, employment among Kitsap residents appears to be stabilizing this year after declining each year since 2008.

More Kitsap residents found work in August

More Kitsap County residents were working in August, and more were looking for work, according to a monthly labor report. But fewer people held jobs with Kitsap employers.

Jobs In Kitsap

It’s typical to see a decline in employment toward the end of the summer as season winds down and young workers head back to college.

The drop off was especially precipitous this year among Kitsap employers, according to Employment Security Department estimates. The agency reported a drop of 1,100 jobs in the county between July and August.

Losses were in both the private and public sectors with the bulk coming from local governments. Continue reading

July employment: Local companies keep hiring

Familiar storylines continued in the July employment report for Kitsap County.

First, the (relatively) good news:

The number of jobs supported by Kitsap employers remained consistently higher than in the previous two years. Nearly 1,000 more people found work in the county during this year’s summer employment peak than in 2013. Continue reading

Mixed bag of job numbers midway through 2014

The Kitsap County unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent by the end of June, due mostly to continued decline in the labor force. Meanwhile, the number of people working for Kitsap County employers remained unchanged from 2013.

Here’s a look at the June employment report for Kitsap:



An estimated 1,050 people left Kitsap County’s labor force (stopped looking for work) in June, according to the state Employment Security Department. That negated a labor force gain in May. Another residents 130 were hired.

The decline to the labor force and slight increase in employment dropped unemployment rate among Kitsap residents to 5.1 percent, a full 2 percent lower than in June 2013.

On a positive note, 990 more Kitsap residents were employed in June than in June 2013. For perspective, this chart shows how Kitsap’s labor force and employment numbers have changed over the past decade at the midpoint of each year:

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Employment: More people looked for work in May



The May employment report for Kitsap contained at least one promising nugget.

Kitsap’s labor force (the number of people either employed or looking for work) grew by an estimated 740 people between April and May, according to the state Employment Security Department. Employment among Kitsap residents didn’t grow over the same period, in fact 140 fewer people were working in May.

Still, it can be seen as encouraging that more people are seeking jobs, rather than dropping out of the labor force.

The slight drop in employment coupled with the rise in the labor force spiked Kitsap’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 6.1 percent (see chart above). Unemployment in April was 5.4 percent.

The statewide labor force also grew in May, while Washington employers added a modest 4,000 jobs. The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Washington held steady at 6.1 percent.

“This is the lowest monthly job gain so far this year,” state labor economist Paul Turek said in a news release. “Meanwhile, our workforce grew, but the unemployment rate stayed the same because the proportion of job seekers who got work about equaled those who did not.”

Washington employers have added an average of 6,560 jobs each month this year.

Kitsap jobs


Kitsap companies employed 200 more workers in May than in April, and 200 more than in May of 2013.

The private sector added an estimated 400 employees between April and May. Government jobs dwindled by 200.

The full labor area report for May is below:

Kitsap employment up, labor force still shrinking

employmentFamiliar employment trends continued in April, with the number of jobs in Kitsap increasing, employment among its residents growing slightly, and the labor force shrinking.

Kitsap Jobs

Kitsap employers added about 400 employees between March and April, according to the Employment Security Department (see the chart above). Those added jobs came from construction, retail, hospitality and local government, among other trades.

Employment in the county continues to outpace 2012 and 2013 as the busy summer season approaches.



The county unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in April, in line with the statewide trend.

Kitsap’s labor force (the total number of workers and job seekers) declined, dropping from 116,320  to 115,110. Meanwhile, 80 residents started jobs, raising the number of employed to 108,770. The combination of those factors caused the unemployment rate to fall by 1.1 percent between March and April. Continue reading