Payroll employment surges back in August

Washington state’s economy gained an estimated 16,100 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in August.

Job growth was highest in the following industries: government; education and health services; professional and business services, and retail trade.

The July 2022 preliminary estimated gain of 6,600 jobs was revised to a gain of 10,200 jobs.

The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for July was confirmed at 3.7 percent and remained constant in August.

“This month’s payroll numbers, along with last month’s upward revision, show the results of strong summer spending, which supported hiring by businesses,” said Paul Turek, Employment Security Department’s (ESD) state economist.

“However, the decline in household employment serves as an indication the labor market is beginning to cool,” he said.

Clallam County’s unemployment rate for August was 5.4 percent — tied for 12th-highest among Washington state’s 39 counties.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 35,929 people in August, an increase of 1,468 over the previous month.

Increases in paid claims within the administrative & support, waste management & remediation services, and agriculture sectors contributed to the overall increase in paid claims over the month.

The national unemployment rate increased in August from 3.5 percent to a preliminary rate of 3.7 percent. For comparison, the national unemployment rate (revised) for August 2021 was 5.2 percent.

The state’s labor force in August was 4,020,700 – a decrease of 9,700 people from the previous month. Labor force is defined as the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

From August 2021 to August 2022, the state’s labor force increased by 91,400.

From July to August, the number of people who were unemployed statewide increased slightly from 149,100 to 149,600.

Private sector employment increased by 9,400 jobs while government employment increased by 6,700 jobs.

Washington gained an estimated 161,100 jobs from August 2021 to August 2022 (not seasonally adjusted).

Private sector employment rose by 5.6 percent, up an estimated 158,900 jobs, while public sector employment rose by 0.5 percent, up an estimated 2,700 jobs.