OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy gained 13,500 jobs in April and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for April rose slightly to 4.7 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The revised estimated March 2019 unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.6 percent.
“It’s good to see the hiring rebound in March continue into April” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “April’s employment gains show the state’s labor market remains strong.”
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 4.6 percent was confirmed. March’s preliminary estimated gain of 27,900 jobs was revised slightly to a gain of 27,700 jobs.
The national unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in April 2019. In April 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent.
Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 57,977 people in April.
More people continue to move into the labor force
The state’s labor force in April was 3,870,100 – an increase of 8,100 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 1,400 over the same period.
From April 2018 through April 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 98,300 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.
Eleven industry sectors expanded and two contracted
Private sector employment increased by 11,800 while the public sector gained 1,700 jobs in April. This month’s report shows private job growth occurred in professional & business services up 2,800 jobs, education & health services up 2,300 jobs, financial activities up 1,900 jobs leisure & hospitality up 1,600 jobs, other services up 1,200 jobs and manufacturing up 1,000 jobs. Also posting job gains are information up 700 jobs, wholesale trade up 600 jobs, retail trade up 500 jobs, and transportation, warehousing & utilities up 400 jobs. The two sectors that posted job losses are construction down 1,100 jobs and mining & logging down 100 jobs.
Year-over-year growth in payroll employment moves back up
Washington added an estimated 83,100 new jobs from April 2018 through April 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.1 percent, up an estimated 87,100 jobs, while public sector employment decreased by 0.7 percent with a net loss of 4,000 jobs.
From April 2018 through April 2019, ten out of the thirteen major industries added jobs, two sectors 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 18,200 new jobs
Professional & business services with 16,900 new jobs
Leisure & hospitality with 12,500 new jobs