Regional News

Labor market strengthens further in May


Jun 13, 2018

Washington’s economy added 8,500 jobs in May and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for May was 4.7 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The May unemployment rate was slightly lower than the April 2018 unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

“Payroll growth stepped up in May,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Gains were widespread across industries with most adding jobs.

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 April’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.8 percent was confirmed. Job gains in April were revised upward from 7,100 to 8,200 jobs.  

The national unemployment rate was at 3.8 percent in May. In May 2017 last year, the national unemployment rate was 4.3 percent.

Private sector employment increased by 7,800 while the public sector gained 700 jobs in May.
This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in retail trade up 3,000, construction up 1,400, and education & health services and professional & business services both up 1,100. Other sectors adding jobs were information up 800,  government up 700, wholesale trade and financial activities both up 500, leisure & hospitality up 400 and manufacturing up 200.

Transportation, warehousing & utilities experienced the biggest reduction in May losing 700 jobs while other services lost 400 jobs.  

Mining and logging was the only sector that remained unchanged.


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