Unemployment dips slightly in July

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 9.1 percent in July, down from June’s revised rate of 9.2 percent, according to the state Employment Security Department.

The state gained an estimated 4,000 non-agricultural jobs over the month, seasonally adjusted. Industries with the most job growth included education and health services, with 4,400 new jobs, professional and business services, which added 2,100, and government, up 1,300. Most of the government additions were in local education and tribal employment, while state government employment fell by about 1,300.

Industries with the largest declines were in construction, which cut 3,200 jobs, financial activities, down 1,900, and manufacturing, which lost 900 jobs. Year over year, Washington had 123,200 fewer jobs last month than in July 2008, a 4.1 percent decrease.

Nationally, employment declined by 4.2 percent over the past year.

An estimated 315,853 people (not seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in July.

“The July numbers are further evidence that the recession is slowing, but it’s too soon to say whether we’ve turned the corner,” said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. “We expect to see ups and downs for some time to come.”

Laid-off workers can apply for unemployment benefits online at esd.wa.gov or call (800) 318-6022. When filing for unemployment, it is very important to provide complete and accurate information in order to prevent lengthy delays in processing claims.
To date, Washington has distributed nearly $200 million in state and federal stimulus funds to unemployed workers in the form of temporary benefit increases, on top of normal weekly unemployment benefits.

Job seekers can get help looking for work at Employment Security’s affiliated WorkSource offices across the state, where a variety of employment services are offered, including free help with interviewing skills or resumes and with job referrals. Locations of local WorkSource offices are listed online at http://www.go2worksource.com . Assistance also is available by phone at (877) 872-5627. In addition, nearly 13.000 current job openings are posted on http://www.go2worksource.com .