State adds more jobs; unemployment rate stays at 4.3 percent

Payroll hiring continues into the holiday season

  • Wednesday, December 19, 2018 10:25am
  • Business

Washington’s economy added 5,100 jobs in November and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for November was 4.3 percent, according to the Employment Security Department.

The November unemployment rate was unchanged from the revised October 2018 unemployment rate of 4.3 percent. The November figures are preliminary and are subject to revisions.

“The pace of hiring softened some in November, but the overall job situation remains relatively strong” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “The availability of jobs is high and hiring plans remain in place.”

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 October’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.3 was confirmed. However, October’s preliminary estimated gain of 12,400 jobs was revised downward to 7,700 jobs.

The national unemployment rate remained constant at 3.7 percent in November. In November 2017, the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 52,644 people in November.

State’s labor force grows again

The state’s labor force in November was 3,795,800 – an increase of 14,300 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 4,400 over the same period.

From November 2017 through November 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 39,600 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 25,500.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Six industry sectors expanded, six sectors contracted and one was unchanged

Private sector employment increased by 6,400 while the public sector decreased by 1,300 jobs in November. This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in manufacturing up 2,900 jobs; transportation, warehousing and utilities up 2,200 jobs; leisure and hospitality up 1,600 jobs; education and health services up 1,200 jobs; and professional and business services up 1,000 jobs. Other services also increased by 400 jobs.

Wholesale trade was the only industry sector that was unchanged.

The industry sector’s that lost the most jobs were retail trade down 1,200 jobs and construction down 1,100 jobs. Financial activities lost 400 jobs while mining and logging and information both lost 100 jobs.

Year-over-year growth in payroll employment

Washington added an estimated 103,500 new jobs from November 2017 through November 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.8 percent, up an estimated 104,400 jobs, while public sector employment decreased by 0.2 percent with a net loss of 900 jobs.

From November 2017 through November 2018, eleven of the thirteen industries added jobs, government lost jobs while mining and logging was unchanged.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

• Professional and business services with 16,800 new jobs;

• Education and health services with 15,000 new jobs and

• Construction with 12,500 new jobs

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