Spokane County’s unemployment rate rose to 3.8% in December, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the Washington state Employment Security Department.
The Spokane metropolitan statistical area, which includes Spokane, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, lost a total of 900 nonfarm and private sector jobs last month.
That was primarily due to seasonal layoffs in the construction and education sectors, said Doug Tweedy, a regional economist with the ESD.
“In December, we always see a seasonal decrease in construction and education (jobs),” Tweedy said.
The retail trade sector, meanwhile, gained 500 jobs last month as companies hired additional employees during the holiday season, Tweedy added.
The transportation and warehousing sector gained 400 jobs, while leisure and hospitality – one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic – gained 300 jobs in December.
The county’s unemployment rate was 3.1% in November 2021 and 6.8% in December 2020.