Thursday, June 14, 2012

May employment numbers show optimism

Washington added more than 11,700 jobs in May and the state’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.3 percent. And this is good news. Wait. What?

According to Employment Security Department (ESD) economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman, this means more unemployed people are re-entering the job market. She said that in this particular case “the higher unemployment rate could be a sign that people are feeling more optimistic about their chances of finding a job.” The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the estimated number of unemployed people who have looked for work within the past four weeks by the total civilian labor force.

The big May job gains were in:
• Professional and business services: +5,400 jobs
• Transportation, warehousing and utilities: +2,600 jobs
• Wholesale trade: +1,900 jobs
• Manufacturing: +1,400 jobs
• Construction: +1,200 jobs
• Financial activities: +1,000 jobs
• Retail trade: +400 jobs
• Education and health services: +400 jobs

Meanwhile, the government payroll continued shrinking as 2,600 jobs were lost. Here’s the breakdown:
• Federal employment in Washington: -1,100 jobs
• State agencies: -700 jobs
• Local government: -300 jobs
• K-12 schools: -300 jobs
• Public higher education: -200 jobs

The ESD reports that with May’s job growth, Washington has regained about 102,500 jobs since the low point of the recession.

Want to learn more? Check out these useful links:
Full ESD report
Labor-market info website  
State and local trends
Employment Security website

And if you or someone you know is looking for a job, be sure to visit your local WorkSource employment center for help.

To read this story in Spanish, please click here.