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

File Photo
LA Fitness to reopen all locations Aug. 10

Gyms will follow state guidelines

Bay Area bio-tech firm to open production plant in Bothell

Lyell Immunopharma is investing $50 million in a new manufacturing facility that will employ about 100.

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT. Courtesy photo
2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT | Car review

OK folks, buckle your seatbelts. This week’s tester is the 2020 Dodge… Continue reading

Free ‘safe start’ supply kits for local businesses July 14

Small businesses can get free cloth masks, disposable masks and hand sanitizer

A new measure from the King County Council could increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas of King County. File photo
County measure would increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas

Staff report Legislation the King County Council passed June 23 could lead… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino is located at 37500 SE North Bend Way, Snoqualmie. Courtesy photo
Snoqualmie Casino reopens June 11 with social distancing, other safety measures

Staff report Snoqualmie Casino will reopen to the general public at 6… Continue reading

Like similar businesses across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, Bothell restaurant Hana Sushi closed due to public-health concerns. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee changes course, says diners won’t have to sign in

Restaurants may still ask customers for information that contact tracers could use to stop an outbreak.

Businesses, nonprofits asked to participate in COVID-19 impact survey

Regional effort in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties

Construction worker installs siding to a building in Snoqualmie. File photo
Inslee gives construction a green light

It was unclear when sites would re-open, but employees will have to have PPE and stay six feet apart.

Report shows severity of COVID-19 impacts on hotels nationwide

70% of employees laid off or furloughed, eight in 10 hotel rooms empty