Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Unemployment still high, but Washington job growth gaining steam

The state Employment Security Department just released their latest data on job trends in Washington and the news, while mixed, is pointed in the right direction.

Washington added a seasonally adjusted estimate of 1,100 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate edged up from 9.1 percent to 9.2 percent.

Industries that posted gains in March were professional and business services, up 2,700; wholesale trade, up 1,900; manufacturing, up 1,600; financial activities, up 1,300; mining and logging, up 200; and leisure and hospitality, up 200.

Dragging those gains down, however, were job losses primarily in government, education, health services, and construction, as well as retail, transportation, and warehousing, for a combined loss of 6900 jobs.

Still, the line slowly arcs upwards - Washington has added an estimated 33,100 jobs since March 2010.

“We’re picking up a little steam,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause. “The consistent job growth we’re starting to see now is really encouraging.”

An estimated 340,325 people (not seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work, and 228,911 people received unemployment benefits from Washington in March.

Employment Security is a partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which offers a variety of employment and training services for job seekers, including free help with interviewing skills, résumés and job referrals. WorkSource also can help employers recruit and screen for qualified workers, apply for employment tax breaks and qualify for subsidized employee training.

Click here for more information, locations, and job listingsat your local WorkSource office. Assistance also is available by phone at 877-872-5627.