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Office Hours

The crummy spring weather and the impact on Spokane’s jobless rate

The state of Washington does its jobless rate announcements differently. It announced the statewide jobless rate of 9.2 percent last week.

Then, today, the state released the metro and county numbers. 

Spokane's rate inched up slightly this March, to 10.5 percent.

The interesting data tidbit is the effect on jobs of the crummy spring weather, according to regional labor economist Doug Tweedy.

A year ago the county had a higher jobless rate (11 percent) but it also had  500 more people working than we had in March 2011, state labor data show.

Tweedy said that comes from seasonal impacts and crummy spring weather. “The weather this past March has slowed outdoor jobs” including construction, landscaping and other areas of the job market, he said.

It's a good thing we don't have tons of jobs reliant on golf courses, swimming pools, splashdown parks and bike rentals. The impact on those areas would have been harsh this year.


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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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