July unemployment holds steady at 4.5 percent

The unemployment rate in the state of Washington remained at 4.5 percent last month, for the third month in a row, according to the state’s Employment Security Department.

Despite the unchanged rate, the state did add 1,600 nonfarm jobs between June and July, with the greatest job growth in government sector (+5,300 jobs).

“The good economic news continues in Washington,” commented Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Unemployment is at a record low and Washington businesses continue to add jobs. Plus, newly released data shows early-year hiring was much stronger than originally thought.”

This month’s report shows gains in education and health services (+2,000), retail trade (+700), wholesale trade (+600) and information and financial services (both +100).

Sectors with the largest reduction in jobs last month were leisure and hospitality (-2,600), other services (-1,600), construction (-1,300) and manufacturing (-1,000).

Year-over-year growth

Year-over-year, the state added an estimated 85,200 new jobs (July 2016 through July 2017), not seasonally-adjusted. The private sector grew by 67,900 jobs, and the public sector increased by 17,300 jobs.

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

  • Government (+17,300)
  • Construction (+12,400)
  • Education and health services (+11,500)

Manufacturing (-5,900) and logging (-200) were the only sectors to report job losses.