State adds jobs, but the unemployment rate rises

By Dan Catchpole
Everett Herald Writer

OLYMPIA – Washington added jobs in October, but its workforce grew more. The result is a slight rise this month in the state unemployment rate to 6 percent, according to preliminary, seasonally-adjusted data released Wednesday by the state’s Employment Security Department.

The state added an estimated 5,600 jobs in October, but the workforce grew by about 12,000 that month.

“These numbers demonstrate increased confidence by job seekers entering or re-entering the marketplace,” state labor economist Paul Turek said. “Job growth continues to gain momentum — with the state adding roughly 7,000 jobs a month — but for this month, the increase in the number of new job seekers entering into the labor market’s civilian workforce was greater than the number of new jobs added. That explains the increase in the unemployment rate.”

The private sector added 6,200 jobs from September to October, while the public sector shed 600 jobs.

The leisure and hospitality industry added 2,700 jobs; retail trade was up 2,200; and manufacturing rose by 1,500.

Jobs in transportation, warehousing and utilities grew by 600 and the financial activities industry added 600 jobs as well. Construction added 500 jobs. The professional and business services sector and the mining and logging sector both increased by 100 jobs each.

The wholesale trade lost 1,700 jobs. Education and health services lost 1,000, and the information sector lost 800 jobs.

An estimated 208,900 people were unemployed and looking for work in Washington in October. A little more than a quarter of those people — 58,335 — received unemployment benefits.

During the one-year period ending in October, Employment Security Department economists estimate that employers added nearly 82,600 jobs in Washington. The private sector accounted for most of those — 69,900 — with the public sector adding 12,700 jobs.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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