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Payroll employment moves lower in October; unemployment rate slightly lower
OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy lost 1,600 jobs in October and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for October fell slightly to 4.5 percent according to the Employment Security Department.

“The labor market continues sending mixed messages this month” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Household members are finding jobs in spite of businesses reporting rollbacks. What’s becoming more evident overall is that hiring conditions are softening.”

The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

The department also announced that September’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.6 was confirmed. September’s preliminary estimated loss of 3,100 jobs was revised to a loss of 5,400 jobs.

The national unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.6 percent in October 2019. In October 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 45,942 people in October.

The labor market absorbs more job seekers

The state’s labor force in October was 3,922,300 – an increase of 15,200 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 7,000 over the same period.

From October 2018 through October 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 100,200 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 39,400.

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

Four industry sectors expanded, eight contracted and one remained unchanged

Private sector employment decreased by 1,500 while the public sector decreased by 100 jobs in October. This month’s report shows the largest private job growth occurred in retail trade up 1,300 jobs, information up 800 jobs, construction up 700 jobs and financial activities up 600 jobs. Other services posted the largest decline down 1,300 jobs followed by manufacturing down 1,100 jobs, education & health services down 1,000 jobs and wholesale trade down 800 jobs. Also posting losses were professional & business services and transportation, warehousing & utilities each lost 300 jobs while both government and mining & logging each lost 100 jobs. Leisure and hospitality was the only industry sector that remained unchanged.

Year-over-year growth in payroll employment

Washington added an estimated 67,600 new jobs from October 2018 through October 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.2 percent, up an estimated 61,400 jobs, while public sector employment rose 1.0 percent with a net gain of 6,200 jobs.

From October 2018 through October 2019, twelve out of the thirteen major industries added jobs while one sector contracted.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
  • Information with 13,400 new jobs
  • Professional & business services with 10,100 new jobs
  • Education & health services with 7,800 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 third quarter of 2019. 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 unemployment rate for the third quarter of 2018 through the third quarter of 2019 for Washington state was 8.1 percent. This was lower compared to the 8.4 percent U-6 unemployment rate one year prior. The U.S. U-6 unemployment rate was 7.3 percent over the same time period.
  • State adds jobs in July, unemployment rate holds steady
    OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy gained 13,400 jobs in July and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for July was unchanged at 4.6 percent according to the Employment Security Department.

    “Ordinarily this amount of gain in payroll employment would serve to chip away at the unemployment rate” said Paul Turek, economist for the department, “but the rate remained unchanged as labor force participation edged up again.”

    The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

    The department also announced that June’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.6 was confirmed. June’s preliminary estimated gain of 6,000 jobs was revised to a gain of 7,600 jobs.

    The national unemployment rate also remained unchanged at 3.7 percent in July 2019. In July 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent.

    Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 47,227 people in July.

    Labor force keeps growing

    The state’s labor force in July was 3,885,500 – an increase of 6,600 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 2,300 over the same period.

    From July 2018 through July 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 93,600 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 33,500.

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

    Twelve industry sectors expanded and one contracted

    Private sector employment increased by 10,900 while the public sector gained 2,500 jobs in July. This month’s report shows the largest private job growth occurred in government up 2,500 jobs, professional & business services up 2,100 jobs, leisure & hospitality up 2,000 jobs, construction up 1,900 jobs, education & health services up 1,400 jobs and manufacturing up 1,200 jobs. Also posting gains were information up 900 jobs, other services up 800 jobs, financial activities up 600 jobs, transportation, warehousing & utilities up 400 jobs both wholesale trade and mining & logging each up 100 jobs. Only retail trade lost 600 jobs.

    Year-over-year growth in payroll employment occurring primarily in the private sector

    Washington added an estimated 86,400 new jobs from July 2018 through July 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.9 percent, up an estimated 82,100 jobs, while public sector employment rose 0.8 percent with a net gain of 4,300 jobs.

    From July 2018 through July 2019, twelve out of the thirteen major industries added jobs while one sector contracted.

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

    Professional & business services with 19,200 new jobs
    Education & health services with 14,800 new jobs
    Manufacturing with 9,400 new jobs
    Labor market information
    Check it out! ESD has new labor market information and tools, including a video tutorial, to highlight popular information and data.

    WorkSource
    Employment Security is a partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which offers a variety of employment and training services for job seekers, including free help with resumes, interviewing and skills training. WorkSource also helps employers advertise jobs, convene hiring events and connect with subsidized employee training.

    Find WorkSource locations and more than 140,000 job openings on WorkSourceWA.com.

    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 2019. 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 unemployment rate for the second quarter of 2018 through the second quarter of 2019 for Washington state was 7.8 percent. This was lower compared to the 8.9 percent U-6 unemployment rate one year prior. The U.S. U-6 unemployment rate was 7.4 percent over the same time period.
    State adds 6,000 jobs in June, unemployment rate holds steady
    OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy gained 6,000 jobs in June and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for June was unchanged at 4.6 percent according to the Employment Security Department.

    "Employment continues to expand at a healthy pace” said Paul Turek, economist for the department.“ The rise in payroll jobs over the past few months has generated more opportunities for new entrants to the labor force."

    The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

    The department also announced that May’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.7 percent was slightly lower at 4.6 percent. May’s preliminary estimated gain of 9,600 jobs was revised to a gain of 7,600 jobs.

    The national unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.7 percent in June 2019. In June 2018, the national unemployment rate was 4.0 percent.

    Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 48,364 people in June.

    Labor force adds more people

    The state’s labor force in June was 3,879,200 – an increase of 3,300 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 500 over the same period.

    From June 2018 through June 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 96,000 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 34,100.

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

    Eight industry sectors expanded, one was unchanged and four contracted

    Private sector employment increased by 5,400 while the public sector gained 600 jobs in June. This month’s report shows the largest private job growth occurred in education & health services up 2,500 jobs, information up 1,600 jobs and manufacturing up 1,300 jobs. Also posting gains were professional & business services, government and retail trade all up 600 jobs, other services was up 400 jobs and transportation, warehousing & utilities up 200 jobs. The mining and logging sector remained unchanged. Construction lost 800 jobs, wholesale trade lost 600 jobs, leisure & hospitality lost 300 jobs and financial activities lost 100 jobs.

    Year-over-year growth in payroll employment occurring in the private sector

    Washington added an estimated 82,700 new jobs from June 2018 through June 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.9 percent, up an estimated 82,600 jobs, while public sector employment was little changed with a net gain of 100 jobs.

    From June 2018 through June 2019, eleven out of the thirteen major industries added jobs while one sector contracted and one sector remained unchanged.

    The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
    • Education & health services with 20,800 new jobs
    • Professional & business services with 16,200 new jobs
    • Leisure & hospitality with 12,100 new jobs


    DoLabor Contact: Paul Turek, labor economist, 360-507-9599 or Bretta Beveridge, communications manager, 360-902-9293.
    Washington's average wage tops $65,000 in 2018
    OLYMPIA – Washington’s average annual wage grew by 5.5 percent in 2018 to $65,301, according to the state Employment Security Department—representing the largest percentage increase year over year since 2006.

    The average weekly wage rose from $1,190 in 2017 to $1,255 in 2018. These figures include only those wages that are covered by unemployment insurance.

    Much of the increase was driven by an 8.0 percent increase in total earnings, which grew by nearly $15.8 billion in 2018. Overall, the average number of workers in Washington covered by unemployment insurance grew by just over 75,840 in 2018.

    The industries with the largest average wage growth in 2018 were retail trade, up 16.9 percent; information, up 13.1 percent; and professional, scientific, and technical services, up 9.7 percent.

    The average annual wage is used to calculate unemployment benefits for jobless workers. The minimum weekly unemployment benefit, calculated at 15 percent of the average weekly wage, will increase by $10 to $188, for new claims opened on or after July 1. At the same time, the maximum weekly benefit, which is the greater of $496 or 63 percent of the average weekly wage, will increase by $41 to $790.

    Currently, about 20 percent of unemployment insurance claims are paid the maximum benefit amount, and 10 percent receive the minimum.

    In addition to unemployment benefits, the average annual wage is used in computing employers’ unemployment taxes. Beginning in 2020, employers will pay unemployment taxes on the first $52,700 paid to each employee—up from $49,800 in 2019.

    The state average wage also is used by the Department of Labor & Industries in calculating worker’s compensation benefits and Employment Security’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program in calculating benefits starting in January 2020.
    Payroll hiring surged in December
    OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 11,400 jobs in December and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for December was 4.3 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The December unemployment rate was unchanged from the revised November 2018 unemployment rate of 4.3 percent. The December figures are preliminary and are subject to revisions.

    “Employers added the highest number of jobs since last July” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “December’s report caps off a year that has been solid for job growth.”

    The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

    The department also announced that November’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.3 was confirmed. However, November’s preliminary estimated gain of 5,100 jobs was revised upward to 7,300 jobs.

    The national unemployment rate rose from 3.7 percent in November to 3.9 percent in December. In December 2017, the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

    Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 65,615 people in December.

    State’s labor force keeps growing

    The state’s labor force in December was 3,812,300 – an increase of 16,300 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 4,500 over the same period.

    From December 2017 through December 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 57,400 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 30,600.

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

    Eleven industry sectors expanded and two sectors contracted

    Private sector employment increased by 9,800 while the public sector increased by 1,600 jobs in December. This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in construction up 2,400 jobs, transportation, warehousing & utilities up 2,100 jobs, manufacturing up 1,800 jobs, other services up as well as retail trade both up 1,100 jobs. Other industry sectors posting job growth are Education & health services up 800 jobs, leisure & hospitality, information and financial services each up 500 jobs and mining & logging up 100 jobs.

    The industry sectors that lost jobs were wholesale trade down 600 jobs and professional & business services down 500 jobs.

    Year-over-year growth in payroll employment

    Washington added an estimated 101,900 new jobs from December 2017 through December 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.6 percent, up an estimated 98,400 jobs, while public sector employment increased by 0.6 percent with a net gain of 3,500 jobs.

    From December 2017 through December 2018, twelve of the thirteen industries added jobs, while mining & logging lost jobs.

    The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
    Construction with 14,500 new jobs;
    Education & health services with 14,200 new jobs and
    Professional & business services with 12,100 new jobs
    Washington experienced continued economic growth in 2018
    OLYMPIA--Economic growth in Washington expanded in the first half of 2018, building on the 4.7 percent growth in 2017. This was the highest growth rate of any state for the second straight year, well above the 2.2 percent growth achieved by the nation.

    This report covers comparisons for 2017 annual statistics, as well as those for the first three quarters of 2018, based on the available data at the time this report was written, in the fourth quarter of 2018.

    "Our Labor Market and Economic Analysis (LMEA) team provides great resources for job seekers, employers and policy makers to make informed career, hiring or policy decisions - and this 2018 report is just one of those many resources" said ESD Commissioner Suzi Levine.

    As an overview of Washington state’s labor market and economy through the first three quarters of 2018, the report includes analyses of employment conditions and trends, unemployment, wages, income and employment projections. Economists and policy makers can use this report to track Washington’s economic trends. ESD produces the report with guidance from the Revised Code of Washington, section 50.38.040, Annual report.

    Check out this video featuring Labor Market Information Director Steven Ross and Commissioner LeVine, discussing the highlights of the report and other resources offered by the LMEA team.

    Report summary

    Data in the 2018 Labor Market and Economic Report are gathered by the Employment Security Department and other government agencies, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, as well as from the private sector.

    Here are just a few of the key findings in the report:

    December 2018 Year-Over-Year Job Growth – Washington recorded the third highest annual average gain of job growth at 3 percent and a year-over-year increase of 3.1 percent. The Seattle metro area accounted for about 63 percent of the state’s net increase -- slightly more than its share of the state’s employment base.
    Every major industrial sector, except for mining and logging, added jobs.
    The state unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in September 2018 compared to the U.S. rate of 3.7 percent. Washington’s unemployment rate of 4.4 percent at the time was at an historical low for the state based on the statistical series maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics dating back to 1976.

    Total nonfarm employment in Washington state is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 1.59 percent until 2026. Computer and mathematical occupations, management occupations and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations were projected to grow faster than other occupational groups from 2016 to 2026. By 2026, office and administrative support occupations are projected to comprise the largest share of total occupational employment.

    Based upon the most recently published annual data, the median household income in Washington, as measured in 2017 dollars, rose by 14.3 percent from 2013 to 2017.
    Job gains were greatest in occupations that paid between $12 and $17.99 per hour.
    From 2001 to 2017, jobs paying an hourly wage of $54 and above grew faster than jobs in middle and lower wage categories.

    Report compiled from 2018 Labor Market and Economic Annual Report, produced by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD),
    Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rises in March
    OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy gained 27,900 jobs in March and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for March rose slightly to 4.6 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The revised estimated February 2019 unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.5 percent.

    “The recent winter events have forced a great deal of volatility into the estimates” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “I anticipate job growth will even out and settle down as the year progresses.”

    The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

    The department also announced that February’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.5 percent was confirmed. However, February’s preliminary estimated loss of 8,700 jobs was revised to a loss of 14,400 jobs.

    The national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in February and March 2019. In March 2018, the national unemployment rate was 4.0 percent.

    Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 68,651 people in March.

    More people continue to move into the labor force

    The state’s labor force in March was 3,862,100 – an increase of 13,000 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 5,700 over the same period.

    From March 2018 through March 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 96,400 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 34,700.

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

    Twelve industry sectors expanded and one contracted

    Private sector employment increased by 28,400 while the public sector lost 500 jobs in March. This month’s report shows private job growth occurred in construction up 14,800 jobs, education & health services up 3,700 jobs, professional & business services up 2,900 jobs, leisure & hospitality up 1,400 jobs, other services up 1,300 jobs and wholesale trade up 1,100 jobs. Also posting job gains are information up 900 jobs, manufacturing up 800 jobs, retail trade up 600 jobs, transportation, warehousing & utilities up 600 jobs, financial activities up 200 jobs and mining & logging up 100 jobs.

    Year-over-year growth in payroll employment moves back up

    Washington added an estimated 81,600 new jobs from March 2018 through March 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.2 percent, up an estimated 88,100 jobs, while public sector employment decreased by 1.1 percent with a net loss of 6,500 jobs.

    From February 2018 through February 2019, twelve out of the thirteen major industries added jobs and one contracted.

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

    Education & health services with 19,500 new jobs
    Leisure & hospitality with 12,700 new jobs
    Construction with 12,600 new jobs
    Nonfarm payroll employment reverses course in February, sheds jobs
    OLYMPIA – The WA Dept. of Employment Security reports that Washington’s economy lost 8,700 jobs in February and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for February was 4.5 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The February unemployment rate was unchanged from the revised January 2019 unemployment rate of 4.5 percent. The January figures are preliminary and are subject to revisions.

    “After two strong months of payroll growth, February’s employment numbers are disappointing” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “The result was not mirrored in the unemployment rate numbers, however, perhaps making it not as dire as it seems.”

    The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

    The department also announced that January’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.5 percent was confirmed. However, January’s preliminary estimated gain of 12,300 jobs was revised downward to 10,400 jobs.

    The national unemployment rate declined from 4.0 percent in January to 3.8 percent in February. In February 2018, the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

    Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 73,688 people in February.

    State’s labor force adds, employs more people

    The state’s labor force in February was 3,849,800 – an increase of 14,000 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 5,400 over the same period.

    From February 2018 through February 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 90,900 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 31,200.

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

    Three industry sectors expanded and ten contracted

    Private sector employment decreased by 7,900 while the public sector lost 800 jobs in February. This month’s report shows private job growth occurred in retail trade up 1,200 jobs, information up 1,100 jobs and financial activities up 1,000 jobs. The industry sectors posting the decreases were construction which lost 3,400 jobs, other services lost 2,000 jobs, education & health services lost 1,300 jobs, while both professional & business services and leisure & hospitality each lost 1,200 jobs. Other industry sectors posting job losses wholesale trade losing 500 jobs, manufacturing losing 300 jobs and mining & logging losing 100 jobs.

    Year-over-year growth in payroll employment dips

    Washington added an estimated 64,400 new jobs from February 2018 through February 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.6 percent, up an estimated 70,700 jobs, while public sector employment decreased by 1.1 percent with a net loss of 6,300 jobs.

    From February 2018 through February 2019, ten out of the thirteen major industries added jobs, one contracted and two were unchanged.

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

    Education & health services with 16,900 new jobs
    Manufacturing with 10,600 new jobs
    Leisure & hospitality with 10,300 new jobs
    Strong payroll hiring continues into January
    OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 12,300 jobs in January and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for January was 4.5 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The January unemployment rate was unchanged from the revised December 2018 unemployment rate of 4.5 percent. The January figures are preliminary and are subject to revisions.

    “The positive momentum in the state’s labor is being sustained for now” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “The number of jobs added the last two months is impressive.”

    The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

    The department also announced that December’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.3 percent was revised upward to 4.5 percent. However, December’s preliminary estimated gain of 11,400 jobs was revised to a gain of 13,800 jobs.

    The national unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.9 percent in December to 4.0 percent in January. In January 2018, the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

    Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 73,119 people in January.

    State’s labor force keeps growing

    The state’s labor force in January was 3,836,000 – an increase of 13,000 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 6,600 over the same period.

    From January 2018 through January 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 83,500 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 28,400.

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

    Eight industry sectors expanded, four contracted and one was unchanged

    Private sector employment increased by 12,000 while the public sector added 300 jobs in January. This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in education & health services up 3,900 jobs, leisure & hospitality up 3,100 jobs, retail trade and construction both up 1,900 jobs and professional & business services up 1,200 jobs. Other industry sectors posting job growth are financial activities up 800 jobs, wholesale trade up 500 jobs and government up 300 jobs. Mining & logging remained constant. The industry sector posting the largest decrease was information losing 900 jobs followed by transportation, warehousing & utilities losing 200 jobs and both manufacturing and other services each losing 100 jobs.

    Year-over-year growth in payroll employment

    Washington added an estimated 83,700 new jobs from January 2018 through January 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.3 percent, up an estimated 89,800 jobs, while public sector employment decreased by 1.0 percent with a net loss of 6,100 jobs.

    From January 2018 through January 2019, eleven out of the thirteen major industries added jobs, one contracted and one was unchanged.

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

    Education & health services with 20,200 new jobs and
    Construction with 14,100 new jobs;
    Manufacturing with 12,100 new jobs
    Payroll hiring continues into the holiday season
    OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 5,100 jobs in November and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for November was 4.3 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The November unemployment rate was unchanged from the revised October 2018 unemployment rate of 4.3 percent. The November figures are preliminary and are subject to revisions.

    “The pace of hiring softened some in November, but the overall job situation remains relatively strong” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “The availability of jobs is high and hiring plans remain in place.”

    The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

    The department also announced that October’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.3 was confirmed. However, October’s preliminary estimated gain of 12,400 jobs was revised downward to 7,700 jobs.

    The national unemployment rate remained constant at 3.7 percent in November. In November 2017, the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

    Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 52,644 people in November.

    State’s labor force grows again

    The state’s labor force in November was 3,795,800 – an increase of 14,300 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 4,400 over the same period.

    From November 2017 through November 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 39,600 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 25,500.

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

    Six industry sectors expanded, six sectors contracted and one was unchanged

    Private sector employment increased by 6,400 while the public sector decreased by 1,300 jobs in November. This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in manufacturing up 2,900 jobs, transportation, warehousing & utilities up 2,200 jobs, leisure & hospitality up 1,600 jobs, education & health services up 1,200 jobs and professional & business services up 1,000 jobs. Other services also increased by 400 jobs.

    Wholesale trade was the only industry sector that was unchanged.

    The industry sector’s that lost the most jobs were retail trade down 1,200 jobs and construction down 1,100 jobs. Financial activities lost 400 jobs while mining & logging and information both lost 100 jobs.

    Year-over-year growth in payroll employment

    Washington added an estimated 103,500 new jobs from November 2017 through November 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.8 percent, up an estimated 104,400 jobs, while public sector employment decreased by 0.2 percent with a net loss of 900 jobs.

    From November 2017 through November 2018, eleven of the thirteen industries added jobs, government lost jobs while mining & logging was unchanged.

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

    Professional & business services with 16,800 new jobs;
    Education & health services with 15,000 new jobs and
    Construction with 12,500 new jobs

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

    WorkSource
    Employment Security is a partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which offers a variety of employment and training services for job seekers, including free help with resumes, interviewing and skills training. WorkSource also helps employers advertise jobs, convene hiring events and connect with subsidized employee training.

    Find WorkSource locations and more than 140,000 job openings on WorkSourceWA.
    Unemployment Rate Holds at 5.8 Percent
    OLYMPIA – Washington added 12,800 new nonfarm jobs, on a preliminary, seasonally adjusted basis, from December 2015 to January 2016, according to the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD).

    “Washington continues to enjoy solid job growth,” said Paul Turek, Washington’s state labor economist. “The state has continued to add new jobs each month since October 2014 — and we are continuing to see growth in the labor market.”

    The state’s unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent, the same as revised employment rate for December 2015 and the same as one year ago in January 2015, according to estimates by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The U.S. unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.9 percent for January 2016.

    Unemployment in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area rose from 5 percent in December 2015 to a preliminary 5.1 percent in January 2016.

    Labor force continues to grow in Puget Sound and across Washington

    The resident labor force statewide rose slightly from nearly 3.57 million people in December 2015 to nearly 3.59 million in January. The resident labor force in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region rose from nearly 1.59 million to nearly 1.595 million over the same period. The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

    The number of unemployed rose to 209,900 statewide. The number of unemployed in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area grew from 78,700 in December to 81,400 in January. In January 2016, ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 86,598 statewide.

    New jobs in retail, education & health and leisure & hospitality drive growth this month

    This month’s report shows the greatest job growth in retail with 3,500 new jobs last month.

    Eight more industries experienced job gains in the month of January including:

    • Education and health services (3,300)

    • Leisure and hospitality (2,800)

    • Other services (2,800)

    • Government (1,600)

    • Financial activities (1,300)

    • Manufacturing (800)

    • Information (600)

    • Construction (400)


    Wholesale trade and mining and logging were unchanged. Professional and business services lost 2,900 jobs and transportation, warehousing and utilities lost 1,400 jobs.

    Year-over-year growth remains strong with gains in both public and private sectors

    Washington added 93,700 new jobs from January 2015 to January 2016 on a not seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector grew by 82,000 jobs and the public sector added 11,700, according to ESD’s Monthly Employment Report.

    From January 2015 to January 2016, 11 of 13 major industries saw growth while the number of jobs in the mining and logging industries dropped by 700 and manufacturing lost 800 jobs.

    The top four industry sectors with the largest employment gains from January 2015 to January 2016, not seasonally adjusted, were:

    • Retail trade with 15,700 new jobs

    • Professional and business services with 14,900 new jobs

    • Leisure and hospitality with 14,400 new jobs

    • Government with 11,700 new jobs.

    Employment Security website

    State labor market grows; unemployment holds at 5.8 percent
    OLYMPIA – Despite adding 8,700 jobs from April to May 2016, Washington’s unemployment rate remains at 5.8 percent for the fifth month in a row, according to the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD). The state released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary jobs estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its May Monthly Employment Report.

    “Even though we added more than 101,000 jobs over the last year, Washington’s unemployment rate is holding steady,” said ESD’s state economist, Paul Turek. “As I’ve been saying for the last several months, that’s not necessarily bad for our economy as we have been seeing more and more people enter the labor market.”

    The U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 4.7 percent in May. Unemployment in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area remained steady at 4.9 percent after the April unemployment rate was revised upward slightly from 4.8 percent to 4.9 percent in April 2016.

    In Washington, ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 60,742 people in May.

    Labor force continues to grow in Puget Sound and across Washington
    The state’s labor force increased by 97,100 people to nearly 3.63 million from May 2015 to May 2016. The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over age 16. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force grew by 33,100 people over the same period.

    Nine sectors see job growth, four sectors face losses
    This month’s report shows the greatest job growth in professional & business services with 2,300 new jobs from April to May 2016.

    Education and health services added 2,000 jobs. Government and construction both added 1,600 jobs.

    The number of jobs in leisure and hospitality decreased by 1,400, with 900 of the loss occurring in arts, entertainment and recreation.

    Year-over-year growth remains strong with continued gains in public and private sectors
    The state added 101,700 new jobs from May 2015 to May 2016, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.5 percent or 89,700 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.1 percent, adding 12,000 jobs.

    From May 2015 to May 2016, 11 of 13 major industries saw growth while the number of jobs in the mining and logging industries dropped by 200 and manufacturing lost 2,800 jobs.

    The top five industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
    • Professional & business services with 18,8 000 new jobs;
    • Construction with 14,000 new jobs;
    • Education and health services with 13,700 new jobs;
    • Government with 12,000 new jobs; and
    • Retail trade with 11,700 new jobs.
    WA unemployment lingers at 5.8% for seventh month
    OLYMPIA – Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show Washington continues to gain jobs on a year-over-year basis and the unemployment rate remains steady at 5.8 percent for the seventh month in a row.

    According to the June Monthly Employment Report from Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD), while the state lost 500 jobs from May 2016 to June 2016, it has gained 96,900 jobs since June 2015.

    “Although hiring flattened in June, the state’s economy has produce jobs on a year-over-year basis and labor force participation is more stable than it was in 2015,” said Paul Turek, the state’s labor economist.

    The U.S. unemployment rate increased to 4.9 percent in June and the unemployment rate in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area dropped to 4.6 percent.

    ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 53,550 people in June.

    Labor force dips slightly in Puget Sound and across Washington for the month
    The state’s labor force dropped by 3,600 people to just over 3.62 million from May 2016 to June 2016. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force dropped by 4,900 people over the same period.

    From June 2015 to June 2016, however, the state’s labor force grew by 90,000 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 26,300.

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

    Six sectors see job growth, six sectors face losses
    Private sector employment increased by roughly 1,000 jobs but government employment dropped by 1,500 for a net loss of 500 jobs in June.

    This month’s report shows the greatest job growth in professional & business services with 1,800 new jobs from May 2016 to June 2016.

    Construction added 1,700 jobs, and financial services increased by 1,300. Leisure and hospitality faced the biggest reduction, losing 2,800 jobs. Education and health services also saw the loss of 2,200 jobs.

    Year-over-year growth remains strong with continued gains in public and private sectors
    The state added 96,900 new jobs from June 2015 to June 2016, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.2 percent or 84,000 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.3 percent, adding 12,900 jobs.

    From June 2015 to June 2016, 11 of 13 major industries saw growth while the number of jobs in the mining and logging industries had no gains or losses, and manufacturing lost 4,800 jobs.

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

    Professional & business services with 17,400 new jobs;
    Construction with 15,300 new jobs; and
    Government with 12,900 new jobs.
    ESD has new labor market web information and tools, including a video tutorial featuring popular information and data.
    Unemployment rate drops again in September
    OLYMPIA –The WA Dept. of Employment Secirity reports that preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell again to 5.6 percent in September with the state adding 20,000 jobs. Washington’s revised unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in August—after lingering for eight months at 5.8 percent.

    According to the Monthly Employment Report from Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD), the private sector added 14,300 jobs and the public sector gained 5,700 jobs.

    “Bigger picture, Washington is continuing to add jobs,” said Paul Turek, the state’s labor market economist. “We’re seeing growth in the labor force while trimming unemployment as employers continue to pull people back off the sidelines and into the job market.”

    The national unemployment rate increased to 5 percent in September. The unemployment rate in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area dropped from 4.1 percent in August to 3.9 percent in September.

    ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 49,342 people in September.

    The state’s labor force grew to 3.65 million in September, an increase of 21,400 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by nearly 15,000 during the same period.

    From September 2015 to September 2016, the state’s labor force grew by 103,700 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 41,600.

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

    This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in government with 5,700 new jobs followed by education and health services with 5,000 new jobs created and professional and business services with 4,400.

    Financial services lost 400 jobs and wholesale trade shed 600.

    Year-over-year, the private sector grew by 3.1 percent or 81,800 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2 percent, adding 10,800 jobs.

    From September 2015 to September 2016, 12 of 13 the state’s major industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing was the only sector to report job losses (-4,000).

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

    Education and health services with 21,100 new jobs;
    Construction with 16,000 new jobs; and
    Professional & business services with 13,400 new jobs.
    Check it out! ESD has new labor market web information and tools, including a video tutorial to highlight popular information and data.


    Note: The BLS recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization” for states to include the second 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 second quarter 2016 was 10.7 percent compared to the national rate of 9.9 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2009.
    Solid gain in payroll employment, unemployment rate little changed
    OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 7,100 jobs in April and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for April was 4.8 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The April unemployment rate was slightly higher than the revised estimated March 2018 unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

    “Washington’s employment situation remains on a positive course,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Jobs keep being added each successive month and the unemployment rate has been at or around 4.8 percent for more than a year.”

    The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report. The department also announced that March’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.8 percent was revised slightly lower to 4.7 percent. Job gains in March were revised upward from 3,900 to 5,100 jobs.

    The national unemployment rate was at 3.9 percent in April. In April 2017 last year, the national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.

    Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 56,813 people in April.

    Labor force decreased slightly in Washington

    The state’s labor force in April was 3,760,800 - a decrease of 700 people from the previous month. However, in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 1,300 over the same period.

    From April 2017 through April 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 59,600 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 47,600.

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

    Nine sectors expand, three contract and one remained constant

    Private sector employment increased by 6,500 while the public sector gained 600 jobs in April.

    This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in construction up 2,100, education & health services up 1,900, professional & business services up 1,800 and leisure & hospitality up 1,200. Other sectors adding jobs were government up 600, wholesale trade up 500, other services up 200, with information and mining & logging both up 100.

    Retail trade experienced the biggest reduction in April losing 600 jobs while manufacturing lost 500 jobs and financial activities lost 300 jobs.

    Transportation, warehousing & utilities was the only sector that remained unchanged.

    Year-over-year growth remains strong

    Washington added an estimated 85,100 new jobs from April 2017 through April 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3 percent, up an estimated 80,200 jobs, and the public sector increased by 0.8 percent, adding 4,900 jobs.

    From April 2017 through April 2018, all thirteen industry sectors added jobs.

    The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
    Education and health services with 16,600 new jobs;
    Retail trade with 16,300 new jobs; and
    Professional and business services with 13,000 new jobs.