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Seattle Press
Community Log & News Digest
WA unemployment lingers at 5.8% for seventh month
- Civic Affairs
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.

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