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Distressed areas list

Distressed areas are counties where the three-year unemployment rate is at least 20 percent higher than the statewide average.

The yearly list of distressed areas (Washington state counties) is compiled by averaging the employment and unemployment numbers for the prior 3 years. We create the distressed-areas list in cooperation with the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is updated annually, usually in the spring.

For more information about distressed areas, see Chapter 43.168 of the Revised Code of Washington

2017 distressed areas1

Three-year average unemployment rate
(Jan 2015 -Dec 2017)
(not seasonally adjusted)
Distressed area: unemployment rate greater than or equal to 6.2%
Washington State
Adams County 6.4% Yes
Asotin County 4.6%
Benton County 6.1%
Chelan County 5.4%
Clallam County 7.5% Yes 
Clark County 5.8%
Columbia County 6.2% Yes
Cowlitz County 7.0% Yes
Douglas County 6.3% Yes
Ferry County 10.5% Yes
Franklin County 7.1% Yes
Garfield County 5.9%
Grant County 6.9% Yes
Grays Harbor County 8.1% Yes
Island County 5.7%
Jefferson County 6.7% Yes
King County 4.0%
Kitsap County 5.3%
Kittitas County 5.8%
Klickitat County 6.6% Yes
Lewis County 7.6% Yes
Lincoln County 5.4%
Mason County 7.3% Yes
Okanogan County 6.8% Yes
Pacific County 8.0% Yes
Pend Oreille County 8.7% Yes
Pierce County 5.9%
San Juan County 4.5%
Skagit County 6.2% Yes
Skamania County 6.8% Yes
Snohomish County 4.4%
Spokane County 6.0%
Stevens County 8.1% Yes
Thurston County 5.5%
Wahkiakum County 8.2% Yes
Walla Walla County 5.4%
Whatcom County 5.6%
Whitman County 4.8%
Yakima County 7.5% Yes

¹ Source: Employment Security Department/WITS; federal Bureau of Labor Statistics