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.
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.
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.