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Business & Labor

August Unemployment Marginally Up
OLYMPIA – The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from 4.5 to 4.6 percent in August, primarily due to a jump in the state’s labor force, according to the state Employment Security Department.

“The stronger job market attracted many more job seekers into the labor force in August,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Although most found jobs, those who didn’t pushed the unemployment rate up a touch. Unemployment remains low and businesses continue to add jobs.”

Washington’s economy added an estimated 2,000 new jobs over the month. The department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of its August Monthly Employment Report.

In August last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent this August and 3.7 percent in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 48,504 people in August.

Labor force continues to grow in Washington

The state’s labor force rose to 3.7 million in August — an increase of 16,900 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 5,500 over the same period.

From August 2016 through August 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 69,000 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 14,700.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Seven sectors expand, six contract

Private sector employment increased by 4,900 and government employment decreased by 2,900 jobs in August.

This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in retail trade, up 1,900, and construction and transportation, warehousing and utilities both up 1,500. Other sectors adding jobs were education and health services up 900, wholesale trade up 600, information up 500 and financial services up 100.

Government and other services faced the biggest reduction in August, losing 2,900 and 1,100 jobs respectively. Additionally, professional and business services cut 600, leisure and hospitality eliminated 200, and manufacturing and mining and logging both shed 100.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington has added an estimated 83,000 new jobs from August 2016 through August 2017, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.5 percent or 67,200 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.9 percent, adding 15,800 jobs.

From August 2016 through August 2017, 11 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-4,600) and mining and logging (-200) were the only sectors to report job losses.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

<div style="margin-left: 10px;">Government with 15,800 new jobs;
Construction with 13,800 new jobs; and
Education and health services with 11,700 new jobs.
Check out Employment Security’s other labor market information and tools, including a video tutorial, to highlight popular information and data.</div>

Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization,” or U-6 rate, for states to include the second quarter of 2017. The U-6 rate considers not only the unemployed population in the official U-3 unemployment rate, but also “the underemployed and those not looking but wanting a job.” The U-6 rate for Washington through the second quarter 2017 was 9.7 percent compared to the national rate of 9.2 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2009.

Unemployment rate holds firm in June
OLYMPIA – Washington’s record-low unemployment rate held firm in June at 4.5 percent, despite preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing the state gained 2,500 jobs over the month.

“Washington’s economy continues to add jobs slowly, just not enough for the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to fall lower in June,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “There’s just not a lot of excess skilled labor available in the market for employers to dramatically increase hiring.”

The Employment Security Department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary jobs estimates from BLS as part of its June Monthly Employment Report.

In June last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent this June and 3.4 percent in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 49,148 people in June.

Labor force continues to grow in Washington
The state’s labor force rose to 3.69 million — an increase of 6,400 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force decreased by 5,600 over the same period.
From June 2016 through June 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 56,500 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 21,400.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Eight sectors expand, five contract
Private sector employment decreased by 300 and government employment increased by 2,800 jobs in June.

This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in government up 2,800, wholesale trade up 2,000 and other services up 1,900 new jobs. Other sectors adding jobs were construction up 1,400, financial services up 1,100, information up 600 and mining and logging and transportation, warehousing and utilities each up 100.

Retail and education and health services faced the biggest reduction in June, losing 2,700 and 2,600 jobs respectively. Leisure and hospitality cut 1,200, professional and business services eliminated 600 and manufacturing trimmed 400.

Year-over-year growth remains strong
Washington has added an estimated 81,000 new jobs from June 2016 through June 2017, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.3 percent or 63,500 jobs, and the public sector increased by 3.0 percent, adding 17,500 jobs.

From June 2016 through June 2017, 11 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-6,700) and logging (-100) were the only sectors to report job losses.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

Government with 14,800 new jobs;
Construction with 15,100 new jobs; and
Retail trade with 11,000 new jobs.

Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization,” or U-6 rate, for states to include the first quarter of 2017. The U-6 rate considers not only the unemployed population in the official U-3 unemployment rate, but also “the underemployed and those not looking but wanting a job.” The U-6 rate for Washington through the first quarter 2017 was 10 percent compared to the national rate of 9.5 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2009.

Contact: Paul Turek, labor economist, 360-407-2306, or Bill Tarrow, deputy communications director, 360-902-9376

State unemployment rate hits historic low in April
OLYMPIA – Washington’s added 1,200 new jobs in April and the unemployment rate fell from 4.7 to 4.6 percent – matching the state’s historic low for unemployment last reached in June 2007, according to the state Employment Security Department.

“While job growth was more subdued in April, Washington’s economy continues to trend positively,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Jobs are being created, unemployment continues to fall and the labor market is tightening.”

The state released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary jobs estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its April Monthly Employment Report.

In April last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent this April and 3.3 percent in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 60,386 people in April.

Labor force continues to grow in Washington

The state’s labor force rose to 3.69 million — an increase of 3,400 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force decreased by 600 over the same period. From April 2016 through April 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 67,900 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 37,500. The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Five sectors expand, six contract, two unchanged

Private sector employment decreased by 700 and government employment increased by 1,900 jobs in April. This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in government up 1,900, transportation, warehousing and utilities up 1,600 and wholesale trade up 1,300 new jobs. In addition, retail trade added 900 jobs and information increased 400. Education and health services faced the biggest reduction in April, losing 1,200 jobs. Financial activities cut 1,000, leisure and hospitality and professional and business services eliminated 900 each, manufacturing trimmed 800 and other services shaved 100. Construction and mining and logging were unchanged.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington has added an estimated 76,500 new jobs from April 2016 through April 2017, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.3 percent or 61,700 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.6 percent, adding 14,800 jobs. From April 2016 through April 2017, 11 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-8,100) and logging (-100) were the only sectors to report job losses. The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

Retail trade with 16,100 new jobs;
Government with 14,800 new jobs; and
Construction with 13,700 new jobs.

Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization,” or U-6 rate, for states to include the first quarter of 2017. The U-6 rate considers not only the unemployed population in the official U-3 unemployment rate, but also “the underemployed and those not looking but wanting a job.” The U-6 rate for Washington through the first quarter 2017 was 10 percent compared to the national rate of 9.5 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2009.

Source:
Bill Tarrow
Deputy Communications Director
Employment Security Department
360-902-9376

WA December Unemployment Lowest Since May 2008
OLYMPIA -- Washington's unemployment rate dropped for the fifth month in a row to hit a new low of 5.2 percent in December, according to state Employment Security Department.

"Washington's economy finished strong in 2016 and the short-term job outlook remains positive," said Paul Turek, economist for the department.

The pace of hiring also increased in December as Washington employers added 6,700 new jobs, up from 4,000 jobs in November.

The department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its December Monthly Employment Report.

The national unemployment rate increased a tenth of a percentage to 4.7 percent in December. The unemployment rate in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area held steady at 3.7 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 70,238 people in December.

Labor force increases in Washington

The state's labor force remained virtually unchanged at 3.69 million in December, an 800 decrease from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 1,000 to 1.65 million during the same period.

From December 2015 to December 2016, the state=92s labor force grew by 121,200 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 61,600.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over age 16.

Eight sectors expand, four contract

Private-sector employment increased by 7,400 jobs and government employment decreased by 700 in December.

This month=92s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality with 3,400 new jobs created. In addition, information increased 2,500; retail trade expanded 2,200, wholesale trade was up 800, and financial activities added 300. Additionally, education and health services; transportation, warehousing and utilities; and manufacturing each added 200 jobs.

Other services faced the biggest reduction in December, losing 1,300 jobs. Government and professional and business services cut 700 jobs each, and construction fell by 400. Mining and logging employment was unchanged.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington has added an estimated 82,300 new jobs from December 2015 to December 2016, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.6 percent or 68,300 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.5 percent, adding 14,000 jobs.

From December 2015 to December 2016, 11 of the state=92s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-5,900) and mining and logging (-100) were the only sectors to report job losses.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
* Education and health services with 20,800 new jobs;
* Government with 14,000 new jobs; and
* Leisure and hospitality with 11,300 new jobs.

Yawn: Unemployment Dips Further
Unemployment rate drops in November; Lowest rate since start of Great Recession

OLYMPIA – Washington added 3,600 new jobs in November, which helped lower the unemployment rate from 5.4 to 5.3 percent in November – the lowest rate since June 2008, according to state Employment Security Department.

“Washington’s economy is moving into the end of the year with good forward momentum,” according to Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Jobs are being created and we are seeing historically low numbers for unemployment.”

The department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its November Monthly Employment Report.

The national unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in November. The unemployment rate in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area dropped from 3.8 percent in October to 3.7 percent in November.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 60,624 people in November.

Labor force increases in Washington

The state’s labor force grew to 3.69 million in November, an increase of 14,900 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 10,400 during the same period.

From November 2015 to November 2016, the state’s labor force grew by 128,400 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 62,500.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over age 16.

Seven sectors expand, five contract

Private-sector employment increased by 4,700 jobs and government employment decreased by 1,100 in November.

This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in education and health services with 3,200 new jobs created. In addition, construction increased 2,400; professional and business services was up 1,200; transportation, warehousing and utilities, and manufacturing moved up 1,100; wholesale trade increased 800 and other services added 300.

Leisure and hospitality faced the biggest reduction in November, losing 3,100 jobs. Retail trade cut 1,200; government shed 1,100; financial activities eliminated 1,000 and information lost 100. Mining and logging employment was unchanged.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington has added an estimated 95,100 new jobs from November 2015 to November 2016, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.1 percent or 81,500 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.4 percent, adding 13,600 jobs.

From November 2015 to November 2016, 12 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing was the only sector to report job losses (-5,700).

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

Education and health services with 22,000 new jobs;
Government with 13,600 new jobs; and
Construction with 12,800 new jobs.

Check it out! ESD has new labor market information and tools, including a video tutorial to highlight popular information and data.

Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization,” or U-6 rate, for states to include in the third quarter of 2016. The U-6 rate considers not only the unemployed population in the official U-3 unemployment rate, but also “the underemployed and those not looking but wanting a job.” The annual U-6 rate for Washington through third quarter 2016 was 10.7 percent compared to the national rate of 9.8 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2009.

Holiday hiring projected to be up in Washington
OLYMPIA – Washington retailers will hire more than 12,700 seasonal workers throughout the holiday season, according to economists with the state’s Employment Security Department.

Last year, employers hired 10,542 additional workers during the 4th quarter of 2015.

“Seasonal retail hiring across the state is expected to rebound this year after declining the past two years,” said Paul Turek, an economist with the department. “Healthier wage growth amidst an improving employment situation should help raise holiday sales to a level that boosts hiring.”

The department’s labor economists say the bulk of the seasonal hiring will be in general merchandise stores, adding 7,480 jobs, up 1,062 positions from the same period last year. Clothing and clothing accessory stores expect to hire 3,329 holiday workers, also up 804 workers from 2015.

Nationally, workplace consultant firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, Inc. expects seasonal gains in the retail sector to be about the same as a year ago, with some 738,800 temporary hires projected from October through December.

Holiday hiring forecast for October through December 2016 Statewide and by region

Area/County2015 actual2016 forecast
Washington state10,54212,726
King-Snohomish6,1675,321
Pierce9941,637
Spokane-Stevens-Pend Oreille671845
Benton-Franklin420467
Yakima354457
Whatcom292393
Kitsap333375
Thurston149302
Skagit82142
Chelan-Douglas28103
Cowlitz2373

Powerit Gets Venture Funding
Seattle-based Powerit Solutions has announced that it has secured major funding through a venture capital firm to expand and develop its operations.

The Seattle-based company does so-called demand management products, specifically for industrial facilities like factories. The technology, which is a combination of hardware and software, is designed to automatically dial down energy usage at facilities to save money on peak-demand charges.

For example, the system could turn off a fan or a pump for few minutes to reduce power consumption. The software lets site operators set rules so that turning off or dialing down equipment won't impact production of, say, a factory, or damage equipment, said Bob Zak, president of Powerit.

Combined, these measures can have a big impact, particularly on peak demand charges--the fee levied by utilities on commercial customers for their high-capacity power consumption, Zak said. The company's system is able to reduce peak demand charges between 10 and 40 percent which can be between 7 and 15 percent of the overall electricity bill, he said.

Read the full story by Martin Lamonica


'Vista' Doesn't (Un)Do Windows
Three out of four product reviews of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system mention Mac Os X either by comparison or in passing. Apparently Vista isn't interesting enough to carry a whole review, according to a survey. Reminds one of TV series that have a "guest star" in every episode.

Read the article


Settlement in AG Suit against 'Net Schemes
Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with two New York-based companies accused of violating Washington state's consumer protection and computer spyware laws. The settlement resolves allegations that High Falls Media, Roc Telecommunications and their associates promoted a software program called Spyware Slayer through deceptive means, and that the defendants failed to disclose costs of a music download service until after consumers provided personal information.

The agreement provides restitution to Washington residents who purchased the products and request refunds. The Attorney General’s Office estimates than more than a hundred consumers may be eligible for reimbursement; some have already received refunds.

Full Article


ZUNE roundly panned in press
The new 'Zune' mp3 player from Microsoft is not opening to accolades. Outside the community of true believers the buzz is more a faint whisper.

Writing in Forbes under the headline "Zune Stinks," David Ewalt says "(Zune is) set to hit stores on Tuesday, and some gadget geeks are getting excited. But it appears they will be sorely disappointed."

He quotes respected technology write Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal who said "To buy even a single 99-cent song from the Zune store, you have to purchase blocks of "points" from Microsoft, in increments of at least $5. You can't just click and have the 99 cents deducted from a credit card, as you can with iTunes. You must first add points to your account, then buy songs with these points. So, even if you are buying only one song, you have to allow Microsoft, one of the world's richest companies, to hold on to at least $4.01 of your money until you buy another. And the point system is deceptive. Songs are priced at 79 points, which some people might think means 79 cents. But 79 points actually cost 99 cents."

Sounds as though the same people who wrote the Windows control panels built the Zune. Looks pretty though; kinda like an iPod.

Forbes Article


Standard Biodiesel Turns Waste Cooking Oil into Fuel
If you want fuel with those fries, Standard Biodiesel recycles waste vegetable oil from restaurants to be processed into biodiesel and biodiesel-petroleum blends to be used in engines, generators, and furnaces. Restaurants can sign up for pickup, which normally begins a few days after registration and is then scheduled regularly depending on the restaurant's volume.

Biodiesel is a safe, clean-burning fuel derived from various vegetable oils, including waste cooking oil. It offers numerous benefits to users, including longer engine or furnace life, as it provides superior lubrication and has little or no particulate content. Biodiesel is widely used around the world but is just now gaining popularity in the USA.

Read more about it...