Unemployment rate steady, state adds 4,000 jobs

OLYMPIA — Unemployment in Washington state held steady at 6.1 percent in May and employers added 4,000 jobs, officials announced Wednesday.

The slight job growth followed a stronger month of April, when revised numbers show a gain of 8,900 jobs, the state Employment Security Department figures show.

“This is the lowest monthly job gain so far this year,” Paul Turek, a department labor economist, said in a written statement. “Meanwhile, our workforce grew, but the unemployment rate stayed the same because the proportion of job seekers who got work about equaled those who did not.”

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 nearly 3.5 million people are counted among the state labor force, a figure that increased last month by 6,500 workers.

Employers have added an average of 6,560 jobs each month this year, Turek said. The department estimates that nearly 74,000 jobs have been added statewide during the one-year period ending in May.

In April 2013, the state’s unemployment rate was 7 percent.

The largest job increases were seen in leisure and hospitality, retail trade and construction. The biggest decrease was seen in government, with the losses including short-term positions that had been created in response to the Oso landslide. Other sectors that saw job losses were professional and business services and manufacturing employment.

Washington’s unemployment rate is below the national rate of 6.3 percent for May. State officials say the rate in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area remained the same as the previous month, at 5 percent.

An estimated 211,800 people were looking for work, including more than 74,000 who claimed unemployment benefits in May.

More in Herald Business Journal

Stan Jones (left) father of Vice Chairwoman Teri Gobin, gets a handshake from Jared Parks while Herman Williams Sr. hugs Bonnie Juneau (right) after the Tulalip Tribes and Quil Ceda Creek Casino held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino Hotel on Tuesday at the Tulalip Reservation. The casino hotel will be built on 16 acres of ancestral tribal land and will feature a main casino that will showcase as many as 1,500 slot machines. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Tulalips break ground on new Quil Ceda Creek Casino Hotel

A 150-room hotel was added to what is now a $140 million project in Tulalip.

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Trudeau snubs Boeing, unveils plan to buy used Aussie jets

Trudeau will be assessing the impact fighter jet contracts have on his country’s economy.

Boeing raises dividend 20%, continues stock buyback program

The manufacturer said it has repurchased $9.2 billion worth of its shares this year.

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

Hospital companies merge as insurers encroach on their turf

An anticipated deal between Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension is only the latest.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Most Read