State unemployment rate at 5.8 percent for eighth month in a row

Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show Washington’s unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent last month. It has been that rate since December 2015.

According to the July Monthly Employment Report from the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD), the state added 2,600 jobs over the month, adding up to a total 100,000 year-over year.

“While job growth is slowing, Washington’s economy continues to expand and we are adding jobs,” said Paul Turek, the state’s labor market economist, in a press release.

Seven sectors expand, six sectors shrink 

According to the report, private-sector employment decreased by 1,000 jobs, but government employment increased 3,600 for a net increase of 2,600 jobs in July.

Within the private sector, education and health services added 1,700 jobs, leisure and hospitality increased by 1,400 and wholesale trade added 900.

Manufacturing faced the biggest reduction, losing 2,100 jobs. Construction cut 1,700 jobs and professional and business services shed 1,300 positions.


From July 2015 to July 2016, the private sector grew by 3.4 percent or 88,300 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.1 percent, adding 11,700 jobs, according to ESD.

During that same time period, 12 of 13 the state’s industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing was the only sector to report job losses (-3,000).

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

  • Professional and business services (+15,800 jobs)
  • Education and health services (+15,100 jobs)
  • Retail trade (+13,300 jobs)

The national unemployment rate for the month of July was 4.9 percent.



I'm the Editor-In-Chief of the Vancouver Business Journal and a Vancouver resident. I earned my degree from the University Of Oregon in Eugene and am a 2012 graduate of Leadership Clark County. Go Ducks!