Unemployment statewide up slightly in August

Washington’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.6 percent.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from 4.5 to 4.6 percent in August, primarily due to a jump in the state’s labor force, according to the state Department.

“The stronger job market attracted many more job seekers into the labor force in August,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Although most found jobs, those who didn’t pushed the unemployment rate up a touch. Unemployment remains low and businesses continue to add jobs.”

Meanwhile, the state gained 2,000 jobs. The biggest job growth was seen in retail trade, up 1,900. The largest losses were seen in government, down 2,900 jobs, and other services, which dropped 1,100.

The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent last month.

Job gains and losses are estimates based on a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate counts the percentage of people who are unemployed and actively looking for work, and doesn’t include those who have stopped looking for work.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 48,504 people in August.

We will have local unemployment numbers next week.

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