"Unemployment Climbs in State and County Manufacturing Sheds Jobs, Construction Builds"

“Unemployment in Washington rose one tenth of a percentage point in July to 4.7 percent, according to state Employment Security Commissioner Carver Gayton.The jobless count typically remains very flat in July, Gayton said. Seasonal employment growth is countered by large layoffs of non-certified school personnel. The July rate was a tenth of a percentage point above a year ago, when the rate dropped by an unusual three-tenths of a percent.The seasonally adjusted state rate also moved up a tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent, compared to a national average that remained unchanged at an even 4.0 percent.Total nonfarm wage and salary employment dropped by 23,000 – the result of normal seasonal layoffs of non-certified staff at public and private schools, down 35,300, coupled with further reductions of temporary census workers, down 4,200.The rest of the state’s economy actually grew by 16,500 workers. Manufacturing payrolls dropped by 900. Fruit and vegetable processing heightened by 600 as the summer season kicked in.Forest products increased by 300 and electronics and instruments manufacturing advanced by 200. Offsetting losses occurred in aluminum, off 300, seafood processing, down 700, and aircraft and parts, down 200.Construction increased by 7,300 as the summer building season shifted into high gear. Large gains were posted in building construction, up 1,800, roads and public works, also up 1,800, and special trades, up 3,700.Wholesale and retail trade dropped by 900 jobs with most of the loss centered in apparel and accessories, off 300, and eating and drinking places, dropping 1,400.Gains came in general merchandising, up by 600 jobs, durable-goods wholesaling, up 500, and auto dealers and service stations, up by 200. Services employment rose by 1,800, led by strong expansion in business services, up 2,900, and amusement and recreation, up by 1,300.Private education dropped by 3,900, with public education shrinking by 31,400.Over the year, manufacturing payrolls statewide were down 11,400, with most of the shortfall centered in aircraft and parts, down 9,700. More moderate losses took place in lumber and wood products, down 1,100, paper and allied products, down 300, and textiles and apparel, also down 300.Gains came in electronics, up 700, fruit and vegetable processing, also up 700, and fabricated metals, up by 300.Construction added 10,100 positions, and wholesale and retail trade expanded by 16,600. Services employment exploded by 28,000 jobs, led by strong growth in business services, up 13,400, health care, up 3,300, and engineering and management services, up 4,400.Total nonfarm wage and salary employment adjusted in collaboration with the Office of the Forecast Council was up 62,700 or 2.4 percent.Across the state, Ferry County in the northeast section of Washington was the only county in July to top 10 percent unemployment (not seasonally adjusted), posting a rate of 10.4 percent.San Juan County reported the lowest unemployment rate in Washington at 1.9 percent.Pierce County posted a 5.1 percent non-adjusted unemployment rate, with Thurston County reporting at 4.7 percent, Mason at 5.9 percent, and Kitsap at 5.3 percent unemployment.The Pierce County rate was up from June’s 4.9 percent figure, and up four-tenths of a percent from the year before. The county’s total labor force was at 341,100, with 323,800 employed. Total nonagricultural wage and salary employment for the county totaled 243,700 for the month, up 4,000 jobs from July 1999.The goods producing sector gained 400 positions from June, but was down 700 jobs from the year previous. Mining was flat, while construction grew by 800 jobs over June and by 1,100 jobs over July 1999. In construction, buildings and heavy construction rose by 600 over June and by 900 over one year ago, while special trade contractors grew by 200 – for the month and for the year.Manufacturing dropped 400 jobs from June’s figures and shed 1,800 positions over one year earlier.Nondurable products took a hit of 1,000 jobs from July of last year, with food and kindred products dropping 100 jobs, textiles, apparel and leather declining by 300, paper and allied products losing 200, printing publishing and allied sliding by 100, with rubber and miscellaneous plastics products shedding 300 jobs.Durable products lost 300 jobs from June’s figures, with a loss of 800 jobs over July 1999.Lumber and wood products dropped by 100 jobs, as did stone, clay, glass and concrete products. Machinery, computers, electronic and electrical equipment manufacturing lost 300 jobs, transportation equipment, down by 400, with other durable manufacturing rising by 100 jobs over July 1999.The services producing sector dropped by 2,300 jobs from June’s numbers, but has risen by 4,700 over one year ago. Trade grew by 1,000 jobs in a year, with wholesale trade rising by 700 and retail trade by 300. Losses in food stores, automotive dealers and service stations, and department, apparel and accessory stores were offset by increases in eating and drinking places and other retail trade.Finance, insurance, real estate services rose by 100 over June, but dropped by 300 over the previous year.Services slipped by 500 positions since June, but still was 3,400 jobs higher than at this time in 1999. Hotels, rooming houses, camps and other lodging lost 200 jobs during the year, while business services rose by the same amount.Health services came down 100 jobs from June, but was up by 1,000 over one year ago. Private educational services were down 800 from June and 500 from July 1999, while other services rose by 600 for the month, and 3,300 for the year.Government employment shed 2,200 workers since June, including U.S. Census Bureau temporary workers. Federal employment dropped by 500 for the month, and was up 200 for the year. Employment at the Department of Defense rose 100 for the month and 200 for the year. Other federal employment, including the Census workers, was off 600 for the month, but was up a total of 100 jobs for the year.State employment in the area was down by 1,300 jobs from June, all of that number in educational services, and was flat for the year.Local government shed a total of 400 workers since June, with a loss of 900 in educational services, and a gain of 500 in other local government positions. Hiring for local government was up by 200 over last year. “