Seattle Press
Community Log & News Digest
Hiring strengthens in June
OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 24,100 jobs in June and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate stayed constant 5.2 percent from May to June, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

*Revised from previous preliminary estimates. Preliminary monthly estimates for jobs losses or gains are based on a small Bureau of Labor Statistics payroll survey while actual figures reported the following month are based on a more complete survey.

“The labor market recovery picked up some speed this month after slowing over the previous two months” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Job opportunities are rising as the economy reopens over the summer.”

ESD 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 5.3 percent was revised to 5.2 percent. May’s preliminary estimated gain of 8,300 jobs was revised upward to a gain of 9,100 jobs.

The national unemployment rate rose slightly from 5.8 percent in May to 5.9 percent in June. In June 2020, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 11.1 percent.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 359,966 people in June, a decrease of 34,254 over the previous month.

Employers luring more workers back to the job market

The state’s labor force in June was 3,889,100 – an increase of 15,600 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 300 over the same period.

From June 2020 to June 2021, the state’s labor force increased by 11,500 while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 30,400.

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

From May to June, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased slightly from 203,200 to 203,000. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed increased from 89,400 to 90,100 over the same period.

Nine industry sectors expanded, three industry sectors contracted and one industry sector remained constant in June

Private sector employment increased by 20,000 jobs while government employment increased by 4,100 jobs. Provided below is a summary of the job gains and losses in leading and trailing thirteen industry sectors.

Industry sector Job gains/losses
Education and health services + 8,200
Professional and business services + 5,600
Leisure and hospitality + 4,100

Declining sectors were 0
Other services - 200
Manufacturing - 400
Financial activities - 700

Leisure and hospitality jobs are in high demand

Washington gained an estimated 197,000 jobs from June 2020 – June 2021, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment rose by 6.9 percent, up an estimated 181,600 jobs, while public sector employment rose by 2.8 percent, up an estimated 15,400 jobs.

From June 2020 – June 2021, twelve major industry sectors expanded while one industry sector contracted.

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

Leisure and hospitality up 56,500 jobs
Education and health services up 42,100 jobs
Retail trade up 31,000 jobs

The one industry sector which contracted year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, was manufacturing, down 13,200 jobs

Note: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization” for states to include annual averages for 2020. One such alternative measure is the U-6 rate, which considers not only the unemployed population in the official “U-3” unemployment rate, but also marginally attached workers and those employed part time for economic reasons. The U-6 rate is defined by BLS as the “total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.” This U-6 measure measures the “unemployed, underemployed, and those who are not looking but who want a job.”

The U-6 unemployment rate for the second quarter 2020 through the first quarter 2021 for Washington state was 15.8 percent. This was higher compared to the 14.8 percent U-6 unemployment annual 2020 rate. The U.S. U-6 unemployment rate for the second quarter 2020 through the first quarter 2021 was 14.5 percent.