Washington unemployment inched up in November

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 6.4 percent in November, up from October’s rate of 6.3 percent, according to the state Employment Security Department.

Washington lost an estimated 11,700 non-agricultural jobs in November, seasonally adjusted. The employment number also has been adjusted to remove the effect of the Boeing worker strike that ended Nov. 1.

Industries in Washington with the largest job growth in November were health services and social assistance, with 700 new jobs; professional, scientific and technical services, with 200 new jobs; electronic markets, agents and brokers, with 200 new jobs; and transportation equipment manufacturing, with 200 new jobs.

The largest declines were in residential specialty-trade construction, which shed 3,300 jobs; clothing and accessory stores, which lost 1,800 jobs; administrative and support services, down 1,600; and general merchandise stores, down 1,200.

The total number of non-agricultural jobs in Washington in November was down 22,400 over the same time in 2007, a 0.8 percent decrease. Nationally, jobs declined by 1.4 percent over the past year.

An estimated 222,551 people (not seasonally adjusted) were unemployed and seeking work in Washington.

Laid-off workers can apply for unemployment benefits online at http://www.esd.wa.gov . As an alternative, they can call 800-318-6022, but they should be prepared to wait on hold for a half hour or longer.

Job seekers can get help looking for work at Employment Security’s affiliated WorkSource offices across the state, where a variety of employment services are offered, including free help with interviewing skills or resumes and with job referrals. In addition, more than 17,000 current job openings are posted on http://www.go2worksource.com . Locations of local WorkSource offices are listed in the blue pages of telephone books and online at http://www.go2worksource.com . Assistance also is available by phone at (877) 872-5627.