October's initial employment stats show statewide job growth

Driven by private sector growth, Washington’s preliminary job numbers from October continued the improved outlook that has been seen in recent months.

But the statewide unemployment rate remained above 8 percent.

Private industries added an estimated 9,600 jobs (seasonally adjusted), according to the state’s Employment Security Department.

Coupled with a loss of about 2,900 government jobs, the state estimated a net growth of 6,700 jobs last month.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in October, according to initial estimates. That rate was a drop from the 8.5 percent that was posted in September.

State economists noted manufacturing, particularly in the aerospace industry, had shown strong job growth since the end of the recession.

After the low point of the recession in February 2010, Washington’s manufacturing industry has posted a net gain of about 31,000 jobs.

More than half of them have been added in the aerospace sector.

Washington’s seasonally adjusted employment in all industries has grown by about 124,000 jobs, after the state lost about 205,000 jobs during the recession.

October employment figures for specific counties will be released next Tuesday.

By the numbers

– Industries with the best job gains in October: retail trade (added 3,300 jobs), professional and business services (1,900), financial activities (1,800) construction (1,400), manufacturing (1,400), education and health services (1,100), and transportation, warehousing and utilities (600).

– Industries with losses: government (down 2,900 jobs); leisure and hospitality (1,700) and wholesale trade (500).

– An estimated 286,000 people (seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in October. That includes 124,682 who claimed unemployment benefits last month.

– Also in October, 3,589 unemployed workers ran out of unemployment benefits.

– Since extended benefits were activated in July 2008, 115,947 people have had their unemployment exhausted.

Contact Evan Marczynski at emarczynski@bbjtoday.com or call 360-647-8805. 

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