5,700 jobs added in July; state unemployment rate unchanged

The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.3 percent in July, despite the addition of 5,700 jobs, the state Employment Security Department reported Wednesday.

June’s rate was initially estimated at 9.2 percent, but was later revised to 9.3 before July’s numbers were gathered.

“When the unemployment rate refuses to budge, people tend to not notice that we’ve added jobs for 11 months straight,” said Dave Wallace, the acting chief economist for Employment Security. “The job gains have been steady, but not enough to chip away at the unemployment rate.”

Sectors that added jobs included leisure and hospitality, which added 1,700; manufacturing, up 1,600; retail trade, up 1,200; transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 1,200; professional and business services, up 1,100; financial activities, up 1,000; construction, up 800; and government, up 500.

Year over year, more than 37,000 jobs have been added in Washington. This includes a gain of 46,000 private-sector jobs and a loss of 8,800 government jobs, the agency said.

Employment security estimated that 311,027 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in July, and 185,358 of them received unemployment benefits. As of Aug. 6, 60,432 workers in Washington had run out of all unemployment benefits.

Jobless rates for the state’s counties will be reported next week.

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