Whatcom’s job market is still in disarray. These industries are bouncing back

While the overall numbers give the appearance of stability, Whatcom County’s job market is still a bit chaotic as the local economy attempts to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Washington’s Employment Security Department reports that Whatcom’s unemployment rate was 5.4% in June, which is about the same as the previous month and in line with much of 2019 before the pandemic.

Would-be workers are taking some time to return to the workforce, especially those who lost a low-wage job and are considering whether they want to do something different that might offer a higher wage, said Hart Hodges, co-director of the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University. Hodges spoke on the topic with other panelists during a Western Insights presentation on June 11.