Unemployment statewide rises, but so do available jobs

Washington added jobs statewide for the 11th straight month in August, gaining an estimate of 5,300 jobs, according to the Employment Security Department.

Combined with an increase in unemployed people actively looking for work, the estimated statewide unemployment rate up to 7% from 6.9% in July.

Grays Harbor showed the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the state in July, with 11.7%, down from 12.1% in June. Pacific County also lowered their numbers, down to 10.1% for July compared to 10.8% in June.

“Statewide, our steady job growth has decelerated a little in the past couple of months,” said Paul Turek, a labor economist for Employment Security.

Washington added an estimated 62,500 jobs in the past year and has regained 85% of the jobs lost in the recession.

The story is a little different for the Seattle area, which has regained all the jobs it lost during the recession. The unemployment rate for the area last month was 5.2%. The Seattle area accounted for about 44% of all jobs in Washington last month, but only one-third of the unemployed.

In August, an estimated 242,000 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. That includes over 102,000 who claimed unemployment benefits last month.
County by county unemployment figures are expected to be released September 25.




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