State adds 6,700 new jobs

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state added an estimated 6,700 jobs in March and the unemployment rate is holding steady at 6.3 percent, according to a report released Wednesday by the state Employment Security Department.

Officials said that the rate matches February’s jobless numbers, which had been revised down from an original estimate of 6.4 percent.

“The short-term trend looks good,” said Paul Turek, a labor economist with the department. “It’s another small indication that the labor market is getting better. We’re getting job creation, but it’s not gang-busters job creation.”

The biggest job gains in March were seen in professional and business services, which added an estimated 3,100 workers, of which 2,600 were in office jobs like administrative and support services. Other sectors that saw big gains included manufacturing, which added 2,200 jobs last month, and retail, which saw a boost of 1,800 jobs, mostly related to online retail. Other areas that saw job gains were: private education and health services, construction, transportation, warehousing and utilities, leisure and hospitality, and information.

Job losses were seen in government, wholesale trade, financial activities and other services.

Washington’s unemployment rate is below the national rate of 6.7 percent for March. State officials said the unemployment rate in the Seattle-Everett-Bellevue area of Western Washington inched up slightly to 5.2 percent from February’s rate of 5.1 percent.

Two different surveys are used to calculate unemployment figures and job losses and gains. The unemployment rate represents the percentage of the labor force that is unemployed and actively looking for work. People who have stopped looking for work are not counted. The job gains and losses estimates are based on a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of businesses.

Turek said that the state’s total labor force of nearly 3.5 million expanded by about 9,500 last month, indicating more people are starting to look for work.

Employment gains were “improving the confidence of workers who have been sitting out and are now moving into the labor force to try and find better job prospects,” he said.

Officials said that during the one-year period ending in March, nearly 61,000 jobs have been added statewide, including more than 18,000 since the start of the year.

More in Herald Business Journal

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

Most Read