Washington's unemployment up slightly, but job growth continues

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was an estimated 6.9 percent in July, a slight increase over the 6.8 percent rates of May and June, according to the latest report from the state’s Employment Security Department.

Meanwhile, the state’s job market continued to show strength, adding an estimated 8,800 jobs in July. Economists also revised June’s estimated job growth to 10,700, up from the original estimate of 9,800.

The state has now enjoyed 10 straight months of job growth, averaging about 6,000 jobs a month.

“The unemployment rate has been pretty flat for the past three months, but we’re continuing to see the kind of solid job growth that will gradually bring down the unemployment rate,” said Paul Turek, a labor economist for Employment Security, in an Aug. 14 news release.

Industries with job gains in July were education and health services, up 6,400 jobs; professional and business services, up 2,100; leisure and hospitality, up 1,500; manufacturing, up 1,200; retail trade, up 800; transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 400; financial activities, up 200; and information services, up 100 jobs.

Industries that reported job losses included wholesale trade, down 2,100 jobs; government, down 1,000; construction, down 600; and other services, down 200.

So far, Washington has regained about 83 percent (171,500) of the 205,000 jobs it lost during the recession.

In July, an estimated 239,600 people (seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. That includes 108,214 who claimed unemployment benefits last month.

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