Regional News

Unemployment rate nudges upward, job growth continues


Apr 18, 2018

Washington’s economy added 3,900 jobs in March and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate increased slightly from 4.7 to 4.8 percent in March, according to the Employment Security Department.  

 “An expanding economy continues to generate jobs and employment opportunities for state residents,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “The unemployment rate is hovering near historical lows.”

The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its March Monthly Employment Report. The department also announced that February’s previously announced unemployment rate of 4.7 percent was slightly higher at 4.8 percent. Job gains in February were revised downward from 8,700 to 8,500 jobs.  

The national unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent in March. In March last year, the national unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.

Private sector employment increased by 3,400 while the public sector gained 500 jobs in March.

This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in manufacturing up 1,600, retail trade up 1,300 and leisure & hospitality up 1,100. Other sectors adding jobs were information up 700, wholesale trade up 600, government up 500, with education & health services and professional & business services both up 200.

Financial activities faced the biggest reduction in March losing 1,200 jobs while construction lost 500 jobs, other services lost 400 jobs and transportation, warehousing & utilities lost 200 jobs.  

Mining and logging was the only sector that remained unchanged.

Washington added an estimated 93,500 new jobs from March 2017 through March 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.1 percent or 83,700 jobs, and the public sector increased by 1.7 percent, adding 9,800 jobs.


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