State jobless rate still at 7.5%

OLYMPIA — Washington gained 4,000 jobs in February and unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.5 percent, new numbers released Wednesday show.

Economists with the state Employment Security Department said that overall, the state has added about 65,000 jobs over the past year, regaining about 70 percent of the more than 200,000 jobs lost during the recession.

“February was relatively uneventful,” department economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said in a news release. “The job growth was close to the monthly average for the past year, with no big surprises.”

The unemployment rate in Washington state in February 2012 was 8.4 percent.

Industries that saw the most growth included education and health services, up 3,000 jobs, manufacturing, up 2,900 and professional and business services, which gained 1,200 jobs.

Construction saw a loss of 3,600 jobs, leisure and hospitality, was down 1,100 and transportation, warehousing and utilities lost 400.

Earlier this month, state economists reported that new numbers showed the state gained 24,100 jobs for the month of January, a number they expected would later be revised down. But Wednesday’s report revised that number up to 24,200 jobs.

The national unemployment rate for February was 7.7 percent.

An estimated 259,100 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in February, including nearly 140,000 who claimed unemployment benefits.

More than 3,300 unemployed workers ran out of unemployment benefits last month. A total of 132,165 people have exhausted their benefits since extended benefits were activated in July 2008.

More in Herald Business Journal

Sign of the future: Snohomish business aims to reshape industry

Manifest Signs owner thinks that smart signs is an unexplored and untapped part of his industry.

Snohomish County’s campaign to land the 797 takes off

Executive Dave Somers announced the formation of a task force to urge Boeing to build the plane here.

A decade after the recession, pain and fear linger

No matter how good things are now, it’s impossible to forget how the collapse affected people.

Panel: Motorcycle industry in deep trouble and needs help

They have failed to increase sales by making new riders out of women, minorities and millennials.

Costco rises as results display big-box retailer’s resiliency

Their model has worked in the face of heightened competition from online, brick-and-mortar peers.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Tax reform needs the public’s input on spending priorities

The GOP tax plan is a good idea, but the next step should give us a voice on how taxes are spent.

Commentary: GM, Boeing fight a war of words over Mars

Boeing is strongly signaling how crucial deep-space exploration is to its future.

Under cloud of ethics probes, Airbus CEO Enders to step down

He leaves in 2019 after 14 years. Meanwhile, aircraft division CEO Fabrice Bregier leaves in February.