Unemployment rate holds steady in Washington for January

The following is a release from the Washington State Employment Security Department:

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held firm in January at 5.1 percent, despite preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that indicate the state lost an estimated 7,200 jobs over the month.

“Typical seasonal job losses in leisure and hospitality and construction finally showed up after a sustained period of activity,” said Paul Turek, Washington’s state labor economist. “Washington’s economic outlook still remains positive, and we continue to see historically low numbers for unemployment.”

The Employment Security Department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from BLS as part of its January Monthly Employment Report. The department also announced that December’s previously announced unemployment rate of 5.2 percent has been revised downward to 5.1 percent.

The national unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in January. The unemployment rate in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area was unchanged at 3.7 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 78,102 people in January.

Labor force continues to grow in Puget Sound and across Washington

The state’s labor force rose to 3.68 million in January, an increase of 7,600 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 5,400 over the same period.

From January 2016 to January 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 89,200 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 44,600.

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

Six sectors expand, six contract

Private-sector and government employment both decreased by 3,600 jobs in January.

This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in education and health services with 3,000 new jobs created. In addition, financial activities increased 1,300; retail trade added 900, professional and business services was up 500, mining and logging increased 200 and wholesale trade added 100 jobs.

Leisure and hospitality faced the biggest reduction in December, losing 5,000 jobs. Government cut 3,600, transportation, warehousing and utilities clipped 2,300, construction shaved 1,000, information dropped 900 and other services fell 400. Manufacturing was unchanged.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington has added an estimated 84,600 new jobs from January 2016 to January 2017, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.9 percent or 73,800 jobs, and the public sector increased by 1.9 percent, adding 10,800 jobs.

From January 2016 to January 2017, 12 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-6,400) was the only sectors to report job losses.

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

• Education and health services with 17,900 new jobs;

• Retail trade with 17,500 new jobs; and

• Leisure and hospitality with 11,500 new jobs.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

The Guest House co-owner Kevin Kearney in the kitchen. Photo courtesy of Shehab Hossain/Imaginoor Photography
The Guest House in Kenmore announces temporary closure

Before then, the restaurant had been diligently updating its protocols amid COVID-19 concerns.

Sound Publishing operates the following titles in King County: Federal Way Mirror, Auburn Reporter, Kent-Covington Reporter, Renton Reporter, Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Kirkland Reporter, Bellevue Reporter, Snoqualmie Valley Record, Issaquah Reporter, Redmond Reporter, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, Mercer Island Reporter and the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber.
Bothell-Kenmore Reporter to suspend print publication

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rapidly evolve across the globe, the… Continue reading

COVID-19 gathering restriction delays funerals

For one funeral home owner, the confusion came to a head after a recent service.

Carolina Smoke owner David Hayward packages up orders to go on March 22 in Bothell. Olivia Vanni/staff photo
Carolina Smoke in Bothell offers down-home barbecue comfort

During the shutdown, take home an order of restaurant owner David Hayward’s brisket, pulled pork, ribs and sides.

Bothell spirits maker now producing hand sanitizer

Wildwood Spirits Co. has decided to give the community something it’s lacking.

Boeing plants in Puget Sound area to close; infected Everett worker dies

To the relief of anxious employees, the company said it will shut down factory operations for two weeks.

For sale sign hanging in front of house. File photo
Open houses close due to coronavirus concerns

Northwest Multiple Listing Service halts large group home tours amid pandemic.

Customers buying high volume of products at cannabis shops

Retail establishments get the green light to remain open during COVID-19 pandemic.

AG Ferguson warns of scams related to COVID-19

Washingtonians should be skeptical of claims about virus

Most Read