Regional News

Washington economy continues to improve

Dec 21, 2017

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held at 4.5 percent in in November, despite preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that indicate the state added 9,800 jobs over the month.                         

“While the unemployment rate didn’t change, Washington’s economic outlook is bright,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Unemployment stands at a record low, businesses are adding jobs and more people are joining the labor force. That’s great news for everyone as we head into the holidays.”

The Employment Security Department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from BLS as part of its November Monthly Employment Report. The department also announced that October’s previously announced gain of 6,900 jobs was revised downward to 6,300 jobs.

In November last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.2 percent.

The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in November.

The state’s labor force was 3.7 million in November — an increase of 5,200 people from the previous month.  

Private sector employment increased by 13,100 and government employment decreased by 3,300 jobs in November.

This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in professional and business services up 3,800, education and health services up 2,900, and other services up 2,300. Other sectors adding jobs were wholesale trade up 1,300, construction up 1,200, transportation, warehousing and utilities up 1,000, information and manufacturing both up 900, retail up 200 and mining and logging up 100.  

Government faced the biggest reduction in November, losing 3,300 jobs. Additionally, leisure and hospitality cut 1,400 and financial activities trimmed 100 jobs respectively.    

Washington has added an estimated 97,900 new jobs from November 2016 through November 2017, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.2 percent or 87,100 jobs, and the public sector increased by 1.8 percent, adding 10,800 jobs.

From November 2016 through November 2017, 12 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-1,500) was the only sector to report job losses.

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