Washington's November jobless rate at 6.8 percent

Washington state’s initial unemployment rate estimate in November was 6.8 percent, according to the state’s Employment Security Department. But with employers shedding an estimated 6,000 jobs that month, economists said weakness remains in the state’s labor market.

The state’s jobless rate estimate, which is seasonally adjusted, showed a decline in unemployment after a slight increase attributed to the federal government shutdown in October.

The 8,100 lost jobs originally estimated for October has been revised to 7,400. October’s estimated unemployment rate of 7 percent did not change.

“November typically is not a robust month for employment, so we weren’t expecting to see a big turnaround,” said Paul Turek, a labor economist for Employment Security, in a news release.

Industries with job gains in November were leisure and hospitality (up 1,400); financial activities, up 600; information, up 400; and retail trade, up 300.

Industries that reported job losses included government, down 4,600 jobs; manufacturing, down 1,400; construction, down 1,100; professional and business services, down 800; wholesale trade, down 400; transportation, warehousing and utilities, down 200; other services, down 100; and education and health services, down 100.

Washington added an estimated 34,600 jobs in the past year and has regained and estimated 78 percent (161,400) of the 205,000 jobs lost in the recession (all seasonally adjusted).

In November, an estimated 235,200 people (seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. That includes 101,267 who claimed unemployment benefits last month.

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