Unemployment rates held steady between October and November, according to a newly released preliminary monthly state employment report.
November unemployment numbers were released on Dec. 16 by the Washington State Employment Security Department. It shows that the state’s economy added just 100 jobs in November. The statewide unemployment rate remained at 6%, the same as in October.
The state’s unemployment rate has been slowly dropping from a high of more than 16% in April — amid the first wave of coronavirus restrictions — to its current rate.
According to a press release from the Employment Security Department, government sector job losses almost completely counteracted private sector job gains last month. And the rate of improvement in private employment has slowed, said Paul Turek, economist for the department.
“And the latest round of COVID restrictions creates the potential for payrolls to decline next month,” Turek stated in the release.
Nationally, the November unemployment rate was 6.7% this year, compared to 3.5% last year. Last month, the state paid unemployment benefits to 400,291 people, a decrease of 53,507 over October.
The state’s labor force in November was more than 3.8 million, marking a decrease of more than 155,000 people from the previous month. The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.
Preliminary numbers from Washington show that profession and businesses services added the most jobs in November, at 6,000. Financial activities, transportation and warehousing, construction and education and health services all also added jobs.
However, there were some 2,500 government jobs that disappeared, in addition to 2,300 leisure and hospitality jobs and 1,500 manufacturing jobs and 1,000 wholesale trade jobs. Retail trade and information jobs also saw losses.
Overall, leisure and hospitality industry jobs continued to be hit the hardest with losses when compared to 2019.