Business

State's unemployment rate dips slightly in November

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched down to 9.2 percent in November, a slight improvement from the 9.3 percent rate in October, according to the state Employment Security Department.

"This is positive news," said Karen Lee, Employment Security Department commissioner. "Hopefully, this is another sign that we're turning the corner and on our way out of this recession."

The state lost an estimated 4,800 non-agricultural jobs in November, seasonally adjusted. Estimated job losses for October had earlier been reported as 5,100, but that number was revised downward to 4,800 after more analysis.

Year over year, Washington had 125,600 fewer jobs last month than in November 2008, a 4.3 percent decrease. Nationally, employment declined by 3.5 percent over the past year.

Construction was the industry with the steepest decline in November, down about 4,300 jobs. Other industries that showed job losses in November were leisure and hospitality, down 2,000; retail trade, down 900; information, down 800; wholesale trade, down 600; and government, down 500.

November marked the first month in 2009 that the manufacturing industry added jobs, up 1,100. Other industries that saw gains in November were professional & business services, up 2,800; and education and health services, up 900.

An estimated 321,283 people (not seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in November. Nearly 264,226 people received unemployment benefits from Washington state last month.

Unemployed workers can inquire about assessment and training opportunities that are available through their local WorkSource career centers.

Employment Security is a partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which offers a variety of employment and training services, including free help with interviewing skills or résumés and with job referrals.

Locations of local WorkSource offices are listed online at www.go2worksource.com. Assistance also is available by phone at 877-872-5627.

In addition, more than 13,427 job openings are posted on www.go2worksource.com.

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