State payroll employment growth strong in November

Washington state’s economy gained an estimated 13,100 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in November.

And while Washington’s monthly unemployment rate rose from 3.8 percent to 4 percent in November, unemployment is low by historical standards, noted Employment Security Department’s (ESD) state economist Paul Turek.

“And while companies may be taking a more cautious approach to hiring, the number of new jobs added in November indicates that we are still in a favorable environment for job seekers,” he said.

Clallam County’s unemployment rate for November was 6.1 percent — tied for 13-highest among Washington’s 39 counties.

Job growth was highest in the following industries: education and health services; professional and business services; government; manufacturing; leisure and hospitality, and information.

The national unemployment rate remained constant from October to November at a preliminary rate of 3.7 percent, down from 4.2 percent in November 2021.

The state’s labor force in November numbered 4,003,400 — a decrease of 4,400 people from the previous month. Labor force is defined as the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Childcare issues, aging workforce, retirements and shifted work preferences are all contributing factors to a decrease in the labor force, ESD officials said.

Private sector employment increased by 11,000 jobs while government employment increased by 2,100 jobs, according to the ESD. The private sector and public schools have regained positions lost during the pandemic.

However, state and local government jobs have been slower to rebound, with government down 18,600 jobs since February of 2020. This is likely attributable to pandemic-related service reductions and recruiting challenges.

Washington state gained an estimated 130,900 jobs from November 2021 to November 2022, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment rose by 4.1 percent, up an estimated 118,700 jobs, while public sector employment rose by 2.2 percent, up an estimated 12,200 jobs.