Seattle Press
Community Log & News Digest
WA Adds 12,400 Jobs in July
OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 12,400 jobs in July and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for July was 4.6 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The July unemployment rate decreased slightly from the June 2018 unemployment rate of 4.7 percent, matching a historical low.

“The state continues to feel the positive impact its economy is having on employment,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Benchmark revisions to the data showed that job growth has accelerated with the beginning of the calendar 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 June’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.7 was confirmed. Job gains in June were revised significantly upward from 4,100 to 7,100 jobs.

The national unemployment rate was at 3.9 percent in July. In July 2017 , the national unemployment rate was 4.3 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 47,711 people in July.

The state’s labor force in July was 3,763,300 – an increase of 3,100 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 300 over the same period.

From July 2017 through July 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 30,300 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 31,700 .

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

Private sector employment increased by 11,900 while the public sector added 500 jobs in July. This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in professional & business services up 4,200, retail trade up 3,100, manufacturing up 1,700, wholesale trade up 1,600 and information up 1,500. Other sectors adding jobs were education & health services and government both up 500 and construction up 300.

The number of jobs in the mining and logging sector remained constant in July.

Financial activities experienced the biggest reduction in July losing 500 jobs while leisure & hospitality and other services both lost 200 jobs and transportation, warehousing & utilities lost 100 jobs.

Washington added an estimated 102,500 new jobs from July 2017 through July 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.7 percent, up an estimated 103,600 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 0.2 percent with a net loss of 1,100 jobs.

From July 2017 through July 2018, twelve industry sectors added jobs while only the public sector lost jobs.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
  • Professional & business services with 25,600 new jobs;
  • Education & health services with 17,100 new jobs; and
  • Retail trade with 13,400 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 2018. 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 2018 was 9.0 percent compared to the national rate of 8.3 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2007.