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County Jobless Rate Much Worse Than 2002

Unemployment rate of 14.4 percent second highest in state for June 2003

Figures from the Washington State Employment Security Department show Klickitat County with an unemployment picture that continues to be dire and continues to be among the worst in the state.

In June 2003, the county's unemployment rate was 14.4 percent, the second-highest rate in the state. Only Ferry County, at 15.5 percent, was worse.

Compared to the same period a year ago, the statistics show that conditions continue to worsen, not improve, in the county. In June 2002, Klickitat County registered 14.2 percent unemployment.

However, the numbers are better than May's report, which showed the county with 15.6 percent unemployment.

Conversely, neighboring Skamania County continues to show improvements from last year's rates. Skamania County posted 10.0 percent unemployment in June 2003, after posting a 10.8 percent unemployment rate in the same month a year ago. Skamania County had 10.2 percent unemployment in May.

Statewide, the June 2003 figures showed Washington with 7.6 percent unemployment. In June 2003, the state reported 7.2 percent.

"The state's unemployment rate has reached its highest level since April 2002," said Employment Security Commissioner Sylvia P. Mundy. "While some sectors are showing signs of recovery, businesses overall are not yet convinced that demand will be sufficient to justify hiring."

The United States as a whole showed a 6.5 percent unemployment rate in June 2003. It was at 5.9 percent in June 2002.

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