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Statewide unemployment falls slightly in November

Washington’s economy gained 12,200 jobs in November and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for November fell slightly to 4.4 percent according to the Employment Security Department.

“The November data are an encouraging sign that the state’s labor market is still doing well” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “The previous two months had raised concerns about the continued strength of the job market, so it’s good to see it pick back up in time for the holidays.”

The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

The department also announced that October’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.5 was confirmed. 

In Grays Harbor, unemployment for October sat at 6.8%, with Pacific County at 7.1%

The national unemployment rate dipped slightly to 3.5 percent in November 2019. In November 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 52,750 people in November.

In November the state’s total number of people over the age of 16, both employed and unemployed, increased by 21,100 people from the previous month. 

From November 2018 through November 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 116,200.

Private sector employment increased by 11,000 while the public sector increased by 1,200 jobs in November. This month’s report shows the largest private job growth occurred in education & health services up 3,600 jobs, leisure and hospitality up 2,700 jobs, construction and professional & business services both up 1,900 jobs, government up 1,200 job and wholesale trade up 1,000 jobs. Also posting increases were other services up 400 jobs, and mining & logging and manufacturing both up 100 jobs. The three industry sectors that posted losses were retail trade down 400 jobs, information down 200 jobs and transportation, warehousing & utilities down 100 jobs.  Financial activities was the only industry sector that remained unchanged.

Washington added an estimated 66,600 new jobs from November 2018 through November 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.1 percent, up an estimated 59,100 jobs, while public sector employment rose 1.3 percent with a net gain of 7,500 jobs.

From November 2018 through November 2019, twelve out of the thirteen major industries added jobs while one sector contracted.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

  • Information with 11,800 new jobs
  • Education & health services with 11,300 new jobs
  • Professional & business services with 9,800 new jobs

The Employment Security Department has launched new labor market information and tools, including interactive Tableau graphics to highlight popular information and data.


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