Washington county's jobless rate plummets as aerospace staffing leads job creation


Washington county's jobless rate plummets as aerospace staffing leads job creation
Washington county's jobless rate plummets as aerospace staffing leads job creation

The unemployment rate for Snohomish County dropped to 8.7 percent in October from 10.1 the same month in 2010, according to a Labor Market Update for the county. The reading for October 2011 was the lowest one since late in 2008, Snohomish County Business Journal reports.

The highlights of the report, which was written by Washington Employment Security Department’s county economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman, included the jobless rate dropping 0.3 percent since September, with employment rising steadily during 2011, according to the media outlet. Manufacturing experienced the most expansion during the period, with the the aerospace subsector showing the most improvement.

Vance-Sherman noted that since peaking at 11.1 percent in February 2010, the jobless rate has gradually deteriorated, reflecting a slowly improving labor market, the media outlet reports. Her report stated that unemployment figures are difficult to calculate and interpret since they can be influenced by seasonal hiring and also discouraged job seekers who stop looking for work.

The economist's report indicated that the unemployment figures were bolstered significantly by growth in manufacturing positions, specifically ones created in aerospace parts, according to the media outlet. The writing noted that the aerospace manufacturing sector added "6,700 new jobs. … Aerospace manufacturing currently employs 42,200 people in the county." Most of these positions were created at Boeing’s Everett plane assembly plant and suppliers to the company.

The recent awarding of a military contract to a Seattle aerospace firm could boost the employment prospects of the area. The firm released a statement on December 13 indicating that it had won the $2.6 million dollar deal.

The contract will involve the aerospace firm creating equipment that will allow the military to repair aircraft in remote areas. Since there are various American troops in mountainous areas, the Army needs machinery that can reach and repair plans and helicopters that are in dangerous terrain.

"Numerous circumstances can cause an aircraft to be not operational," company president Eric Casterline said in the statement. "Besides hostile fire, for example, during military operations, impact from ground vehicles and foreign object debris are common sources of damage. Repairs to composite parts must follow a schedule of heat and pressure application, known as a cure cycle, for a repair to be sound – that is what our equipment provides."

These positive developments should help to create jobs in Washington and spur aerospace staffing.