State unemployment rate holds firm in June

Washington’s record-low unemployment rate held firm in June at 4.5 percent, despite preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the state gained 2,500 jobs over the month.

“Washington’s economy continues to add jobs slowly, just not enough for the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to fall lower in June,” Paul Turek, economist for the department, said. “There’s just not a lot of excess skilled labor available in the market for employers to dramatically increase hiring.”

Clallam County’s unemployment rate in June was 6.3 percent, sixth-highest among Washington’s 39 counties.

The Employment Security Department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary jobs estimates from BLS as part of its June Monthly Employment Report.

In June last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent this June, 3.4 percent in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 49,148 people in June.

The state’s labor force rose to 3.69 million — an increase of 6,400 people from the previous month.

From June 2016 through June 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 56,500 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 21,400.

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

Private sector employment decreased by 300 and government employment increased by 2,800 jobs in June.

This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in government up 2,800, wholesale trade up 2,000 and other services up 1,900 new jobs. Other sectors adding jobs were construction up 1,400, financial services up 1,100, information up 600 and mining and logging and transportation, warehousing and utilities each up 100.

Retail and education and health services faced the biggest reduction in June, losing 2,700 and 2,600 jobs respectively. Leisure and hospitality cut 1,200, professional and business services eliminated 600 and manufacturing trimmed 400.

Washington has added an estimated 81,000 new jobs from June 2016 through June 2017, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.3 percent or 63,500 jobs, and the public sector increased by 3.0 percent, adding 17,500 jobs.

From June 2016 through June 2017, 11 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-6,700) and logging (-100) were the only sectors to report job losses.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were: government with 14,800 new jobs; cnstruction with 15,100 new jobs, and retail trade with 11,000 new jobs.

ESD has new labor market information and tools at esd.wa.gov/labormarketinfo, including a video tutorial (www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PV3Kkmop8Y) to highlight popular information and data.

More in Business

What’s New at the Market: Unique, handmade jewelry

At the Sequim Farmers Market you will discover an impressive variety of… Continue reading

Pedego Sequim offers free e-bike rides, rentals, sales and more downtown

Pedego Sequim Electric bike shop Location: 213 E. Washington St., Suite 3… Continue reading

Fitness in (re)focus at 360 Health and Fitness

360 Health and Fitness What: Personal, group fitness facility Where: 755 W.… Continue reading

What’s New at the Market: A dog-friendly venue

The Sequim Farmers Market is a popular destination for people in our… Continue reading

Sequim chamber of commerce director Robb-Kahler reflects on tenure

Shelli Robb-Kahler says she’s gained “invaluable” experience as she looks back at… Continue reading

Business briefs — Sept. 5, 2018

Larsen talks garlic at Nash’s Hear Pam Larsen talk about how to… Continue reading

Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau offers tourism grant funds

The Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau seeks applications for tourism project grants, primarily… Continue reading

Business briefs — Aug. 29, 2018

Stewart leads Bones Bash effort Sound Community Bank CEO Laurie Stewart, formerly… Continue reading

Business briefs — Aug. 22, 2018

WeDo Fudge boosts United Way During the month of August, WeDo Fudge… Continue reading

Washington state labor market takes a step up in July

Washington’s economy added 12,400 jobs in July and the state’s seasonally adjusted… Continue reading

What’s New at the Market: Zarit Glass Works

Glass artist Susan Zarit started taking stained glass classes almost 20 years… Continue reading

Business briefs — Aug. 15, 2018

Wind Rose sets ‘Winiversary’ Wind Rose Cellars celebrates seven years of business… Continue reading