Wash. unemployment holds steady at 9%

Washington picked up an estimated 1,000 private-sector jobs in September, while the unemployment rate held steady at 9 percent, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department. The August rate was revised from 8.9 percent to 9 percent.

While the private sector added jobs, overall payrolls were down 3,200 due to the loss of an estimated 4,200 government jobs.

“We’re gradually seeing private-sector jobs returning, and I find optimism in that,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause.

Industries that added jobs in September were manufacturing, up 900; wholesale trade, up 700; financial activities, up 600; transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 400; retail trade, up 200; information, up 200; mining and logging, up 100; and other services, up 100.

Jobs were lost in government, down 4,200; professional and business services, down 1,000; construction, down 600; leisure and hospitality, down 300; and education and health services, down 300.

So far in 2010, Washington has added 8,800 private-sector jobs. Factoring in a substantial loss of government jobs, there has been an estimated net gain of 1,200 jobs during the past nine months.

Year over year, Washington had 17,700 fewer jobs last month than in September 2009, a 0.6 percent decrease. Nationally, employment grew by 0.3 percent over the past year.

An estimated 303,183 people (not seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work, and 223,288 people received unemployment benefits from Washington in September.

Employment Security is a partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which offers a variety of employment and training services for job seekers, including free help with interviewing skills, résumés and job referrals.

WorkSource also can help employers recruit and screen for qualified workers, apply for employment tax breaks and qualify for subsidized employee training. Locations of local WorkSource offices are listed online at go2worksource.com. Assistance also is available by phone at 877-872-5627. In addition, more than 18,000 job openings are posted online at http://www.go2worksource.com .