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Kitsap entered fall with more jobs and a growing labor force

More jobs are available in Kitsap this fall than in previous years, according to the state Employment Security Department.

But a growing labor force has contributed to a higher unemployment rate in the county.

Jobs in Kitsap

chartimgA preliminary estimate showed 89,600 non-farm jobs in Kitsap in October, an increase of 900 from October 2015.


Of the new jobs, 700 were created in the government sector while 200 were added in the private sector.

The state has consistently reported more jobs in Kistap this year than in 2015, and significantly more jobs than in 2014. There  were about 2,600 more jobs in the county in October 2016 than in October 2014.


Nearly 111,500 Kitsap residents were employed in October, according to Employment Security, marking an increase of 1,460 from October of last year.

The county’s labor force — the total number of people working or seeking work — grew by more than 2,400 over the same period, topping 118,300 in October.

Growth in the labor force has contributed to a higher unemployment rate in the county this year compared with 2015.chartimg-1

For statistical purposes, people are only counted as “unemployed” if they are actively seeking work. So as more people join the labor force and look for work, it can cause the unemployment rate to rise.

That appears to be the case in Kitsap, where the unemployment rate rose from 5.1 percent in October of 2015 to 5.8 percent in October of 2016, despite more residents becoming employed.

Employment stronger, job growth gradual in Kitsap this year

Kitsap County saw incremental job growth through May this year, while overall employment among county residents remained more robust.

Kitsap jobs

Kitsap County employers provided an estimated 88,900 jobs in May, according to preliminary numbers from the state Employment Security Department. That marked an increase of 1,300 from May 2015.

Through the first five months of the year, the number of jobs in Kitsap was up 1.8 percent compared with the same period of 2015.

The largest gain came in the public sector, where jobs increased by 3.5 percent. Private sector jobs increased by less than 1 percent.

Here’s a graphical look at Kitsap job trends:


Overall employment among Kitsap residents has been healthier so far this year than last.

The county’s labor force (the total number of people working or seeking work) numbered 117,400 in May, up 2,568 from May of 2015. And about 2,600 more county residents were working last month than in May 2015.

Kitsap’s unemployment rate hovered at 5.7 percent.

Here’s a graphical look at employment trends:

Kitsap posts solid first quarter job growth

Kitsap County added about 2,366 jobs from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, according to preliminary estimates from the state Employment Security Department.

Kitsap had an average of 88,233 jobs during the first three months of the year, up nearly 3 percent from the same period of 2015. Job growth came from both the private sector (up 2 percent) and government sector (up 4 percent).

Here’s a graphical look at job growth in the county:


Overall employment among Kitsap residents also improved in the first quarter.

The county’s labor force (the total number of people working or seeking work) was up about 3,500 from the first quarter of 2015, reaching an average of 118,651.

An average of 111,711 residents were employed during the first three months of the year. The county unemployment rate hovered at about 5.8 percent.

Here’s a long-term look at Kitsap employment trends:

Strong job numbers continued through October

Kitsap entered the holiday hiring season with more jobs than in previous years.

About 88,700 people were working for Kitsap companies in October, according to preliminary numbers from the state Employment Security Office. That was about 1,700 more than were employed in October 2014.

Numbers were up in the private sector, but the public sector posted a bigger gain, with an increase of about 1,200 jobs.

Here’s a graphical look at October job numbers:


Kitsap’s labor force (the total number of residents working or seeking work) remained lower than previous years, but began to climb in October, as is typical for the season.

About 1,250 people entered the workforce between September and October.

Overall employment among Kitsap residents still fell slightly in October, and remains lower than in recent years.

The county’s unemployment rate remained steady at 5 percent.

Here’s a graphical look at employment trends:

County posted promising job numbers in September

Kitsap continued to post promising job numbers through the third quarter of the year.

An estimated 87,800 people employed within the county in September, up 1,400 from September 2014, according to the Employment Security Department. 

The a largest gains came in the government sector, which added 900 jobs from the same month last year.

While the numbers are encouraging, Employment Security has tempered expectations for hiring in the fourth quarter. State economists expect holiday season hiring to remain largely unchanged from last year, according to a recent report. 

Looking ahead to next year, the rollout of new stores at Kitsap Mall and The Trails at Silverdale should bode well for retail employment.

Here’s a graphical look at jobs numbers in the county:



As positive trends continued on the jobs front, overall employment trends in the county have been less encouraging. Both the labor force (the total number of Kitsap residents working or seeking work) and the number of people employed slid in the third quarter.

About 104,971 Kitsap residents were working in September, down about 400 from September of 2014.

With declines in the labor force outpacing declines in employment, Kitsap’s official unemployment rate fell to 5 percent.

Here’s a graphical look at employment trends in the county:

Kitsap jobs numbers rival pre-recession highs

It’s been a slow climb, but Kitsap County appears to have replaced the jobs it lost in the recession.

The Employment Security Department estimated 88,500 people were working for businesses and government agencies in the county in June. That was just 400 shy of the 88,900 working in the county in June of 2006, before employment numbers started to fall.

Both the private and government sectors have steadily added jobs in Kitsap this year. About 2,200 more people were working for private employers in June than at the same time a year ago. Government employment was up by 800 in the county — all federal jobs.



Overall employment trends are also looking more positive, due in large part to some recalculations by Employment Security.

We’ve been reporting declines in the county’s labor force (the total number of residents working or seeking work) for some time now.

About once a year the department adjusts employment numbers for the state and counties based on the best population numbers available. The most recent adjustment lowered labor force and employment estimates from previous years.

As a result, Kitsap’s labor force and employment numbers now appear to be gradually improving:

Kitsap’s labor force grew by 1.2 percent between June 2014 and June 2015. Employment among county residents was up 1.4 percent.

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 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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