Walla Walla County jobless rate holds at 6.7 percent

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Walla Walla County's jobless rate held at 6.7 percent, the same rate as June but up from 5.9 percent in July 2009.

The local figure looked better than the state's 8.6 percent unemployment rate. But Regional Labor Economist Arum Kone said Walla Walla may not have seen the worst of the job impacts yet.

"It's hard to be overly optimistic when you see a lot of softness in some of the sectors that have provided a lot of cushion," he said.

According to Kone, job losses in the community came from the state and local government, retail, professional and business services and construction sectors.

He said continued claims for unemployment insurance generated in the county are closing in on the 2009 rates and are double the historic numbers. Initial claims are also close to the 2009 numbers, reflecting the "tight labor market for new employment," he said.

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