Washington State unemployment rate remains at 5.8 percent

Washington added 10,600 new nonfarm jobs on a preliminary, seasonally adjusted basis from January 2016 to February 2016, according to the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD).

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2016 2:02pm
  • Business

The following is a release from Washington State Employment and Securities Department:

Washington added 10,600 new non-farm jobs on a preliminary, seasonally adjusted basis from January 2016 to February 2016, according to the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD).

“While Washington’s unemployment rate continues to hover at 5.8 percent, the state’s labor market continues to move in the right direction,” said Paul Turek, Washington’s state labor economist. “Jobs were added by employers while the number of unemployed in Washington mostly held steady at 209,000. The labor force also grew significantly to more than 3.6 million.”

The U.S. unemployment rate also held steady at 4.9 percent for February 2016.

Unemployment in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area dropped from 5.1 percent in January 2016 to a preliminary 5.0 percent in February 2016.

Labor force continues to grow in Puget Sound and across Washington

The resident labor force statewide rose from nearly 3.59 million people in January 2016 to more than 3.6 million in February. The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over age 16. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the resident labor force rose from 1.59 million to more than 1.6 million over the same period.

The number of unemployed in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area dropped from 81,100 in January to 80,900 in February. ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 75,402 statewide in February.

New jobs in construction, leisure & hospitality and professional & business services deliver growth this month

This month’s report shows the greatest job growth in construction with 5,500 new jobs in February.

Seven more industries experienced job gains last month including:

  • Leisure & hospitality (2,800);
  • Professional & business services (1,900);
  • Retail (1,700);
  • Government (600);
  • Information (500);
  • Other services (300); and
  • Transportation, warehousing and utilities (200).

Financial activities and mining & logging were unchanged. Education & health services and wholesale trade lost 200 jobs each, and manufacturing lost 2,500 jobs.

Year-over-year growth remains strong with continued gains in public and private sectors

Washington added 96,200 new jobs from February 2015 to February 2016, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 85,800 jobs and the public sector added 10,400, according to ESD’s Monthly Employment Report.

From February 2015 to February 2016, 11 of 13 major industries saw growth while the number of jobs in the mining and logging industries dropped by 600 and manufacturing lost 2,200 jobs.

The top four industry sectors with the largest employment gains from February 2015 to February 2016, not seasonally adjusted, were:

  • Professional & business services with 16,300 new jobs;
  • Leisure & hospitality with 15,300 new jobs;
  • Retail trade with 14,900 new jobs;
  • Construction with 11,800 new jobs.



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