State unemployment rate holds steady at 5.8 percent

Washington’s unemployment rate remained unchanged – at 5.8 percent – during the month of January, according to estimates by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The revised rate was also 5.8 percent during December 2015. Nationwide, the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.9 percent for January 2016.

The state did add 12,800 new nonfarm jobs, on a preliminary, seasonally adjusted basis, from December 2015 to January 2016, according to the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD).

“Washington continues to enjoy solid job growth,” said state labor economist Paul Turek. “The state has continued to add new jobs each month since October 2014 – and we are continuing to see growth in the labor market.”

Eight more industries experienced job gains in the month of January including:

  • Education and health services (+3,300)
  • Leisure and hospitality (+2,800)
  • Other services (+2,800)
  • Government (+1,600)
  • Financial activities (+1,300)
  • Manufacturing (+800)
  • Information (+600)
  • Construction (+400)

Professional and business services lost 2,900 jobs and transportation, warehousing and utilities lost 1,400 jobs.

Year-over-year, Washington added 93,700 new jobs from January 2015 to January 2016 on a not seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector grew by 82,000 jobs and the public sector added 11,700, according to ESD’s Monthly Employment Report.


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