State's unemployment rate dips slightly in July

Washington’s preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell just one-tenth of a percentage point in July to 6.0 percent, Employment Security Commissioner Sylvia P. Mundy announced Tuesday.

The comparable national rate was 5.5 percent. The state’s non-adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent, two-tenths of a percentage point lower than the June rate of 6.1 percent.

“We are seeing the typical summer employment pattern with seasonal industries adding workers and industries such as government and education services letting workers go,” Mundy said. “Both seasonally adjusted labor force and employment declined, but so did the number of unemployed, which accounts for the slightly lower unemployment rate. The one-tenth decline in the unemployment rate suggests that the economy in Washington state remains flat.”

Washington’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment showed a net decrease of 16,400 jobs over the month.

There were expected employment losses in state and local government as well as education services.

Almost all other industrial sectors had increases in employment.

Job gains usual for this time of year included construction (4,800), leisure and hospitality (3,800), retail trade (2,400), and professional and business services (2,300).

In addition, manufacturing added 1,800 jobs over the month.

The social assistance sector employment declined by 600 jobs over the month, as did transportation, warehousing, and utilities (200), and hospital employment (200).

When compared to last year, nonagricultural wage and salary jobs increased by 55,900 with the bell-weather manufacturing industry showing a loss of 4,000.

Over the year, the strongest job gains were in professional and business services (12,400), construction (8,400), and retail trade (6,900).
Government was up 6,300 over the year, with the majority in local government (5,400).

State government was up 1,100 and federal government declined by 200.
Education’s over-the-year increase was 6,200.