Positive trend in hiring continues into March

Washington state’s economy added 8,800 jobs in March.

“March marks the 15th straight month that jobs were added to Washington payrolls,” said the Employment Security Department’s (ESD) Economist Paul Turek.

“Total non-farm employment is now at 30,300 jobs, or just under 1 percent below February 2020 pre-pandemic levels.”

Also in March, the preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.2 percent.

Clallam County’s unemployment rate for March 2022 was 6.4 percent — 13th-highest among Washington’s 39 counties.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 54,578 people in March, a decrease of 1,241 over the previous month. Decreases in claims from the construction and health care and social assistance sectors contributed to the overall decrease in paid claims over the month.

The national unemployment rate dropped from 3.8 percent in February to the preliminary rate of 3.6 percent in March. For comparison, the national unemployment rate (revised) for March 2021 was 6 percent.

The state’s labor force in March was 4,003,500 — an increase of 21,700 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 March 2021 to March 2022, the state’s labor force increased by 125,500.

From February to March, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased from 170,100 to 166,200.

Of the industry sectors, in March, nine expanded:

• Professional and business services, +2,300

• Leisure and hospitality, +1,400

• Information, +1,400

• Construction, +1,300

• Education and health services, +1,200

• Manufacturing, +1,200, financial activities, +600

• “Other” services, +600

• Transportation, warehousing and utilities, +500.

Three industry sectors contracted:

• Retail trade, -1,000

• Government, -400

• Wholesale trade, -300.

One sector, mining and logging, remained unchanged.

Private sector employment increased by 9,200 jobs while government employment decreased by 400 jobs.