Washington State Employment Security Statistics

The state's unemployment rate falls sharply during February.

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell six-tenths of one percentage point to 7 percent in February, Employment Security Commissioner Sylvia P. Mundy reported earlier this month.

This followed a one-tenth of one percentage point upward revision to the January rate.

The seasonally adjusted national rate fell one-tenth of one percentage point over the month to 5.5 percent.

Not adjusted for seasonal changes, Washington’s unemployment rate fell three-tenths of one percentage point in February to 8 percent.

“We’re pleased the state’s unemployment rate dropped during February, be we remain cautious given the continuing layoffs in the aircraft and parts sector, and related spin-off effects,” Mundy said.

Washington’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment, adjusted in collaboration with the Office of the Forecast Council, fell by 58,000 jobs or 2.1 percent from February 2000 to February 2001.

Manufacturing shed 31,000 jobs over the year, with more than two-thirds of the losses in durable goods.

Manufacturing losses were greatest in transportation equipment, with 7,000 of the sector’s 8,000-job loss tied to aircraft and parts.

Significant losses were also registered in electronics, food processing and industrial machinery and computer equipment – all of which were down 3,500 or more over the year.

Construction lost 13,600 jobs. Wholesale and retail trade lost 13,500 jobs.

Services shed 16,400 workers, led by 19,300 in business services and 3,000 in hotels and lodging, personal services and legal services.

Those losses were partially offset, by gains of 6,400 in health services, 1,900 in social services, 1,500 in educational services and 600 engineering and management services.

Transportation, communications and utilities was down 8,900 jobs.

Finance, insurance and real estate was up 5,100 jobs, with finance representing two-thirds of the gain.

Government overall was up 16,500 jobs, with state and local education contributing 6,900 of that increase.

From January to February, Washington’s nonfarm employment rose by 4,100 or 0.2 percent.

Services added 3,900 jobs, with nearly three-quarters of that gain in educational services.

Manufacturing shed 1,300 jobs. Construction fell by 1,500.

Retail trade was down 4,000, with apparel and accessories (-1,400) and general merchandise (-1,300) accounting for two-thirds of the losses.

Eating and drinking and building materials and garden supplies, however, were each up 300, and auto dealers and service stations added 100.

Transportation, communications and utilities was down 700.

Government was up 7,300 jobs, with two-thirds of the gain tied to state and local education.

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