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April 2019

The Cowlitz County workforce has grown by almost 1,500 jobs in last year, but almost 300 more workers are unemployed this April than in April 2018, according to a state Employment Security Department report released Wednesday.

About 6.5% of workers in the county were looking for jobs in April, which is up from a 6% unemployment rate in April 2017.

However, the county’s jobless rate dropped two tenths of a point in the last month, down from 6.7% in March. Employment has been on a steady upward rise for the past nine months, according to regional economist Scott Bailey’s monthly report.

“In April, unadjusted employment rose by 300 jobs, about 200 more than the usual gain for this time of year. Total employment stood at 40,700,” Bailey wrote in the report. “Over the past 12 months, nonfarm employment has increased by 1,000 jobs (2.5 %).”

The mining, logging and construction sector has grown the most in the last year, adding 400 jobs for a total of 3,600. That’s up 12.5% from a year ago, according to Bailey’s report.

Jobs were also added in trade, transportation and utilities; education and health services; manufacturing; local government; and the private sector, the report says.

The recent growth in workforce follows a long-term trend for the county. The county has seen a steady rise in employment since 2014, and almost 4,000 nonfarm jobs have been added in the last five years, according to Bailey’s report.

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