Washington state’s economy added 6,100 jobs in December and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate came in at 4.5 percent, according to the Employment Security Department.
“Washington employers on balance are steadily creating jobs, more people are going to work and unemployment is hovering at record lows,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “That’s a perfect recipe for producing a healthy labor market.”
The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its December Monthly Employment Report.
Clallam County’s unemployment rate is 7.0 percent for December, 11th-highest among Washington’s 39 counties.
The department also announced that November’s previously announced unemployment rate of 4.5 percent was revised downward to 4.4 percent – a new low for unemployment in Washington. Similarly, November job gains were revised upward from 9,800 to 11,100 jobs.
The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in December. In December last year, the Washington’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent.
Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 63,570 people in December.
The state’s labor force was 3.7 million in December — a decrease of 9,500 people from the previous month.
From December 2016 through December 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 86,000 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 26,100. The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.
Eight sectors expand, four contract
Private sector employment increased by 2,000 and government employment increased by 4,100 jobs in December.
This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality up 3,900, manufacturing up 2,400, and construction up 1,500. Other sectors adding jobs were information up 900, education and health services and financial services both up 600, and transportation, warehousing and utilities up 400.
Professional and business services faced the biggest reduction in December, losing 3,300 jobs. Additionally, retail trade cut 2,800, other services eliminated 1,600 and wholesale trade trimmed 600 jobs respectively. Mining and logging was unchanged.