Washington’s unemployment hits record low

The Washington State Employment Security Department announced today that Washington’s unemployment rate for January dipped to 4.7 percent, the lowest rate since December 1999 and 0.5 percentage points lower than the December 2005 revised rate of 5.2 percent.

The unemployment rate is based on a survey of Washington households, which indicated that total, seasonally adjusted employment grew by 13,600 in January.

Consistent with that, a separate survey of Washington businesses found that the seasonally adjusted number of non-farm jobs increased by 13,900 in January.

The sectors that contributed the most to these gains were construction, up 3,800 jobs; retail trade, up 2,600; and professional and business services, up 1,800. While no sectors lost employment over the month, there were three industries that experienced significant employment losses-software publishers, down by 500 jobs; accounting and bookkeeping services, down 500; and electronic markets and agents and brokers, down 300.

Total employment in January was just over 3.1 million, while 155,000 were unemployed – down 18,500 from December.
Over all, at least 89,500 non-farm jobs were added from January 2005 to January 2006.

January 2006 employment information for regions and communities around Washington will be released next week.
People looking for work may search thousands of Washington jobs that are posted online at http://www.go2worksource.com .

Assistance also is available at local WorkSource offices.