State unemployment rate hits historic low in April

Washington’s added 1,200 new jobs in April and the unemployment rate fell from 4.7 to 4.6 percent – matching the state’s historic low for unemployment last reached in June 2007, according to the state Employment Security Department.

“While job growth was more subdued in April, Washington’s economy continues to trend positively,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Jobs are being created, unemployment continues to fall and the labor market is tightening.”

The state released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary jobs estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its April Monthly Employment Report.

In April last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent this April and 3.3 percent in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 60,386 people in April.

Labor force continues to grow in Washington

The state’s labor force rose to 3.69 million — an increase of 3,400 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force decreased by 600 over the same period.

From April 2016 through April 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 67,900 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 37,500.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Five sectors expand, six contract, two unchanged

Private sector employment decreased by 700 and government employment increased by 1,900 jobs in April.

This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in government up 1,900, transportation, warehousing and utilities up 1,600 and wholesale trade up 1,300 new jobs. In addition, retail trade added 900 jobs and information increased 400.

Education and health services faced the biggest reduction in April, losing 1,200 jobs. Financial activities cut 1,000, leisure and hospitality and professional and business services eliminated 900 each, manufacturing trimmed 800 and other services shaved 100. Construction and mining and logging were unchanged.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington has added an estimated 76,500 new jobs from April 2016 through April 2017, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.3 percent or 61,700 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.6 percent, adding 14,800 jobs.

From April 2016 through April 2017, 11 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-8,100) and logging (-100) were the only sectors to report job losses.

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

• Retail trade with 16,100 new jobs;

• Government with 14,800 new jobs; and

• Construction with 13,700 new jobs.

More in Business

West Coast Self-Storage now has U-Haul equipment

Kent’s West Coast Self-Storage, at 1407 Central Ave., has signed on as… Continue reading

Puget Sound Energy fleet gets cleaner

New hybrid vehicles will reduce carbon emissions

Kent attorney honored

The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys has recognized the performance of… Continue reading

Communities In Schools of Kent, Duke’s team up for fundraiser Thursday

Communities In Schools of Kent (CISK) has joined Duke’s Chowder House for… Continue reading

Free job fair at Highline College; nearly 60 employers expected at March 14 event

Close to 60 local employers with full-time, part-time and temporary job opening… Continue reading

Totem Self Storage welcomes U-Haul products to its Kent lot

Kent’s Totem Self Storage has signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer… Continue reading

Summer jobs for teens with the Ecology Youth Corps

Applications being accepted for boys, girls ages 14-17

PSE Powerful Partnerships program helps families and the environment

Puget Sound Energy donates $200,000 to 24 nonprofit organizations

25th annual Rampathon accepting free mobility ramp applications

The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS), through its… Continue reading

United Way, Highline College partner for free income tax prep

Community members can get their taxes done for free, thanks to a… Continue reading

Kent’s Blue Origin selects ASU student payload projects to fly on space vehicle

Three Arizona State University projects to go on New Shepard launch in late 2018