Washington state unemployment rate, job numbers down in December

December’s labor statistics from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics once again produced conflicting data about what’s happening in Washington’s economy.

December’s labor statistics from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics once again produced conflicting data about what’s happening in Washington’s economy.

According to the bureau’s monthly survey of Washington households, the estimated unemployment rate dropped from 8.7 percent in November to 8.5 percent in December. This was the lowest since February 2009, when the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent.

At the same time, a survey of Washington businesses showed an estimated job loss of 10,700 from November to December.

“There is a lot of volatility in the numbers we get from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and one month of numbers isn’t enough to gauge what’s happening in the job market,” said Greg Weeks, who heads the labor-market information office at the state Employment Security Department. “If you look at the trend over time, jobs are gradually increasing and the unemployment rate is coming down.”

Industry sectors that had the most job growth in December were education and health services, up an estimated 2,200 jobs; manufacturing, up 2,100, including 1,100 in aerospace; and the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector, up 500 jobs.

Industries with the most job losses included professional and business services, down an estimated 4,300 jobs; retail trade, down 3,500, leisure and hospitality, down 3,200; construction, down 1,900; government, down 1,200; and financial activities, down 800.

Within the government sector, state agencies cut an estimated 800 jobs, higher education lost 1,300 jobs, local government added 1,000 jobs, and federal employment was unchanged.

From December 2010 to December 2011, employment in Washington increased by an estimated 29,600 jobs.

An estimated 297,430 people (seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in December.  As of Jan. 17, 71,141 workers in Washington had run out of all unemployment benefits.

Employment Security is a partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which offers a variety of employment and training services for job seekers, including free help with interviewing skills, résumés and job referrals. WorkSource also can help employers recruit and screen for qualified workers, apply for employment tax breaks and qualify for subsidized employee training.

Locations of local WorkSource offices are listed online at www.go2worksource.com and in the blue pages of local telephone books.

[flipp]

More in Business

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Page Carson Foster. Photo credit Washington State Legislative Support Services
Carson Foster serves as page in Washington State House

The following was submitted to the Reporter: Carson Foster, a student at… Continue reading

Microsoft has expanded their AccountGuard service to 12 new European Countries. Yellow: European countries already protected. Blue: European countries now protected. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Microsoft warns of hacking ahead of elections

Launching defense services in Europe.

Praerit Garg joins Smartsheet as CTO

Bellevue-based company employs 760 people

OfferUp founder Nick Huzar makes customer safety a core pillar

Bellevue-based CEO wanted a simpler solution to his own problems

Photo by Tiffany Von Arnim/Flickr
Puget Sound companies join to create middle-income housing

Several are the same companies that opposed Seattle’s head tax last year.

Washington to begin collecting sales tax from out-of-state sellers

On Aug. 3 the Washington Department of Revenue said it will require some out-of-state retailers to begin collecting sales tax.

Seattle’s Misstep highlights need for new approach

Last week, Seattle’s City Council did an “about face” revoking the onerous… Continue reading

Hotel Interurban is now open

This is Tukwila’s first boutique hotel in over 20 years and offers 185 hotel rooms.

PCC Community Markets brings first certified organic grocery to Burien

The grand opening for the new market in is May 23 and is the first PCC store south of Seattle.

The exterior of Hotel Interurban. Courtesy photo.
Hotel Interurban is accepting reservations for spring 2018

Tukwila’s first boutique hotel in over 20 years will feature local artists, dynamic meeting and event spaces.

Boeing held an event to celebrate the production of the 10,000th 737 jetliner. The Southwest airplane was displayed at the Renton plant on March 13. Leah Abraham, Renton Reporter
Celebrating the 10,000th 737

Boeing has reached a significant milestone — its 10,000th 737 jetliner. Hundreds… Continue reading

Raina Labrum plays with her dog, Riven, right, as well as Daisy, center, and Poby, left, at Piper’s Playground indoor dog park in Federal Way. Heidi Sanders, the Mirror
Piper’s Playground offers indoor play space for dogs

The first Federal Way indoor dog park opened Jan. 18.