Washington State Employment Security Statistics: Employment rate inches up in January

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose one-tenth of one percentage point to 7.5 percent in January.
This followed a three-tenths of one percentage point upward revision to the December rate, Employment Security Commissioner Sylvia P. Muny announced earlier this month.
The upward revision came as a result of an annual process called benchmarking, in which prior month survey numbers are adjusted based on information not previously available.
The seasonally adjusted national rate fell two-tenths of one percentage point over the month to 5.6 percent.
That was largely attributed to individuals dripping out of the labor force and not necessarily to an improving labor market.
“In part because of aerospace layoffs, the state’s rate remained relatively high as the national rate went down last month,” Mundy said.
“We did not, however, see much of an increase in the rate, despite weakness in the manufacturing sector.”
Not adjusted for seasonal conditions, Washington’s unemployment rate rose nine-tenths of one percentage point in January to 8.2 percent following a three-tenths of one percentage point revision to the December rate.
Washington’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment adjusted in collaboration with the Office of the Forecast Council fell by 63,700 jobs or 2.3 percent from January 2000 to January 2001.
“Over the past year there was a significant loss of 31,900 jobs in manufacturing, with 5,000 of that total tied to aircraft and parts,” said Gary Kimimura, senior economist for the department.
“Major job losses were also seen in electronics, food processing, industrial machinery and computer equipment, primary metals, and lumber and wood products – all of which were down 2,000 or more over the year.”
Construction was down 13,700 jobs. Wholesale and retail trade lost 12,700 jobs.
Services shed 16,100 workers as gains of 7,300 in health services and 4,100 in educational, social, and engineering and management services were offset by the loss of 20,600 in business services.
Transportation, communications and utilities was down 9,500 jobs.
Finance, insurance and real estate was up 5,500 jobs.
Government was up 15,200 jobs, with state and local education responsible for just over half that increase.
In month-to-month changes, Washington’s nonfarm employment fell 57,100 jobs or 2.2 percent from December to January.
Manufacturing shed 6,500 jobs, with food and kindred products and lumber and wood products pulling back seasonally by 1,400 and 800, respectively.
Larger atypical losses included the 1,300 in transportation, mainly aircraft parts (-1,100), and the losses of 300 to 500 in printing and publishing, industrial machinery and computer equipment, textiles, electronic equipment and pulp and paper.
Construction pulled back seasonally by 8,400 jobs.
Retail trade was down 18,900 jobs. Services shed 13,700 jobs, although both computer and data processing and health services showed employment increases.
Transportation, communications and utilities was down 4,300 jobs while finance, insurance and real estate lost 1,100.