By MIKE BENBOW
The state’s unemployment rate plummeted in September by the largest margin in 20 years, Employment Security Commissioner Carver Gayton said Tuesday.
"The transition from the summer’s soft labor market to a more seasonal autumn economy caused the decrease," Gayton said. "Students and teachers returned to school and seasonal employment increased, with large gains in services and local governments."
Washington’s jobless rate fell 0.6 percentage points in September to 4.2 percent.
Snohomish County’s rate fell as well, from 3.7 percent in August to 3.4 in September.
That means that out of a potential labor force of 337,900 people, 11,600 were jobless.
In Island County, the rate was even better at 3.3 percent for September. The 28,100-member labor force of Whidbey and Camano islands had 900 idle workers.
Gayton said the state overall added 15,000 jobs outside agriculture.
Education overall added 5,100 jobs in September, while service jobs increased by 3,900.
Manufacturing payrolls gave back some of August’s gain by releasing 1,000 workers. The largest cutbacks were 300 in lumber products, 300 in aluminum and 200 in sawmills and plywood. Transportation equipment added 400 workers, while aircraft and parts decreased by 200 jobs.
Construction employment shed 500 workers in the general building sector. Wholesale and retail trade was down 900.
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