Washington State Employment Security Monthly Employment Statistics: Unemployment rate unchanged in December

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.1 percent in December following a one-tenth of one percentage point upward revision of the November rate, Employment Security Commissioner Sylvia P. Mundy announced earlier this month.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted rate rose two-tenths of one percentage point over the month to 5.8 percent.

“Although the unemployment rate was unchanged, it is up significantly over the year,” said Mundy. “The rise in the rate reflects a continuing loss of jobs. Manufacturing was week across the board, with the job losses particularly strong for aerospace firms.”

Not adjusted for seasonal changes, Washington’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 7 percent in December following a two-tenths of one percent revision to the November rate.

The unadjusted rate is generally used to compare with local unemployment rates in the state.

Washington’s total nonagricultural wage and salary employment fell by 23,700 jobs, or 0.09 percent in the month of December.

Manufacturing lost 9,600 jobs with durable and nondurable goods shedding 6,100 and 3,500 workers, respectively.

“The biggest loss in durable goods was the 4,400 jobs eliminated in aircraft and parts, the first in a series of layoffs to come in by mid-year,” said Senior Economist Gary Kamimura. “Five manufacturing industries saw job losses of about 20 percent over the course of the past year.”

In nondurable goods, food processing posted a loss of 2,800 jobs from November to December.

Construction cut 6,000 jobs, with heavy construction and special trade contractors down more than usual.

Retail trade added 2,000 jobs, less than half the gain seen last year.

Services shed 1,300 jobs as growth in amusement and recreation, engineering and management, health services, personal services and legal services was not enough to offset the losses in business services (-1,200).

Nonfarm wage and salary employment adjusted in collaboration with the Office of the Forecast Council fell by 45,100 jobs, or 1.7 percent from December 2000 to December 2001.

Manufacturing shed 23,300 jobs with losses across the board.

Aluminum (-1,500), electronics (-4,100), lumber and wood (-2,000), preserved fruits and vegetables (-2,200) and ship and boat building and repairing (-1,500) were the hardest hit as their ranks were down roughly 20 percent over the year.