Dec 20, 201704:41 PMBlog

More jobs, more workers = stable jobless rate

Dec 20, 2017 - 04:41 PM
More jobs, more workers = stable jobless rate

Unemployment rates for Washington state and U.S. overall continued down to low levels, remaining at 4.5% in November.

The statewide unemployment rate for Washington held steady at 4.5 percent in November, even as employers added 9,800 new jobs.

Employment Security Department released seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from federal data today. One year ago, the Washington jobless rate was 5.2 percent.

“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 state’s labor force was 3.7 million in November — an increase of 5,200 people from the previous month. Additional workers in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region contributed most of that growth.

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. Government faced the biggest reduction in November, losing 3,300 jobs.

Washington has added an estimated 97,900 new jobs from November 2016 through last month, 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.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year were:

  • Professional and business services with 17,900 new jobs;
  • Construction with 14,400 new jobs; and
  • Education and health services with 13,800 new jobs.


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