State unemployment rate falls again

Washington state’s economy added 12,400 jobs in October and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for October was 4.3 percent according to the Employment Security Department.

The October unemployment rate decreased slightly from the September 2018 unemployment rate of 4.4 percent, which establishes a new historical low point for the state.

“The state’s labor market is continuing to tighten,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department.

The state U-6 unemployment rate, a broader measure of joblessness, also fell in October to a new series low.

The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

The department also announced that September’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.4 was confirmed. However, September’s preliminary estimated gain of 4,500 jobs was revised upward to a gain of 8,300 jobs.

The national unemployment rate remained constant at 3.7 percent in October. In October 2017, the national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 44,828 people in October.

State’s labor force grows again

The state’s labor force in October was 3,782,200 – an increase of 11,500 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 2,900 over the same period.

From October 2017 through October 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 25,600 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 21,500.

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

Twelve sectors expanded, one contracted

Private sector employment increased by 8,800 while the public sector added 3,600 jobs in October. This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in construction up 2,500 jobs, leisure & hospitality up 1,400 jobs, information up 1,300 jobs and financial activities, manufacturing and professional & business services each up 1,000 jobs.

Other sectors adding jobs were other services up 800 jobs, wholesale trade up 700 jobs, transportation, warehousing & utilities up 600 jobs, education & health services up 400 jobs and mining & logging up 100 jobs.

Only the retail trade sector experienced a loss of 2,000 jobs.

Year-over-year growth exceeds 4 percent

Washington added an estimated 119,200 new jobs from October 2017 through October 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 4.1 percent, up an estimated 112,100 jobs, while public sector employment increased by 1.2 percent with a net gain of 7,100 jobs.

From October 2017 through October 2018, all thirteen industry sectors added jobs.

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

• Professional and business services, with 17,800 new jobs;

• Construction, with 17,300 new jobs, and

• Education and health services, with 16,300 new jobs.

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