Washington State Employment Security Report

The state's employment picture remained bleak in April

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose three-tenths of one percentage point to 7.1 percent in April, Employment Security Commissioner Slyvia P. Mundy announced Tuesday. The nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also rose three-tenths of one percentage point over the month to 6.0 percent.
Not adjusted for seasonal factors, Washington’s unemployment rate fell three-tenths of one percentage point to 7.0 percent, less than half the usual drop for this time of year.
The state economy added 8,800 nonagricultural wage and salary jobs over the month for a non-adjusted increase of 0.3 percent, a weak climb compared to past Aprils. Services accounted for 4,500 of that gain, though its computer and data processing sector (-600) continued to decline. Retail trade up up 3,200, with eating and drinking places accounting for 2,000 of that increase. General merchandise (+700), building materials/garden supplies (+500), and auto dealers/service stations (+300) posted modest gains.
Construction was up 2,000, mostly in trade contractors and heavy construction. Finance, insurance and real estate was up 200. Manufacturing shed 400 jobs. Seasonal gains in food and kindred products (+800) and lumber and wood products (+200) were up, with losses in aircraft and parts (-1,200), printing and publishing (-400), and electronics (-300). Transportation, communications and utilities was down 600, with losses in communications (-500) and utilities (-400) more than offsetting transportation gains. State government was down 1,300, with 1,200 of that in education. Local government was up 1,500, with 700 of that gain in education. Federal government was up 100.
Over the past year, Washington’s nonfarm employment adjusted in collaboration with the Office of the Forecast Council fell by 69,600 jobs or -2.6 percent from April 2001 to April 2002. Non-adjusted data show that manufacturing shed 30,500 jobs, with transportation equipment counting for more than a third of those lost jobs, mostly in aircraft and parts (-9,800). Sizable losses were also registered in electronics (-4,400), food processing (-3,400), industrial machinery and computer equipment (-3,100) and primary metals (-2,400).
Construction shed 15,000 jobs, while trade lost 12,900 and services 12,400. Business services lost 16,000 jobs, including 7,600 in computer and data processing. On the plus side, health services (+7,300) social services (+2,200) and educational services (+1,100) added jobs. Transportation, communications and utilities was down 10,500, with losses mostly in transportation (-6,100). Finance, insurance and real estate was up to 5,100 with most gains in finance (+4,200). Government was up 12,900 with more than half of that gain in state and local education.

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