Washington’s economy gained 12,200 jobs in November and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for November fell slightly to 4.4 percent, according to the Employment Security Department.
“The November data are an encouraging sign that the state’s labor market is still doing well,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “The previous two months had raised concerns about the continued strength of the job market, so it’s good to see it pick back up in time for the holidays.”
The department also announced that October’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.5 was confirmed. October’s preliminary estimated loss of 1,600 jobs was revised to a loss of 800 jobs.
The national unemployment rate dipped slightly to 3.5 percent in November 2019. In November 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.
Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 52,750 people in November.
Job prospects keep attracting job seekers
The state’s labor force in November was 3,940,000 – an increase of 21,100 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 8,200 over the same period.
From November 2018 through November 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 116,200 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 47,000.
The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.
Nine industry sectors expanded, three contracted and one remained unchanged
Private sector employment increased by 11,000 while the public sector increased by 1,200 jobs in November. This month’s report shows the largest private job growth occurred in education and health services up 3,600 jobs, leisure and hospitality up 2,700 jobs, construction and professional and business services both up 1,900 jobs, government up 1,200 job and wholesale trade up 1,000 jobs.
Also posting increases were other services up 400 jobs, and mining and logging and manufacturing both up 100 jobs. The three industry sectors that posted losses were retail trade down 400 jobs, information down 200 jobs and transportation, warehousing and utilities down 100 jobs. Financial activities was the only industry sector that remained unchanged.
Year-over-year growth in payroll employment
Washington added an estimated 66,600 new jobs from November 2018 through November 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.1 percent, up an estimated 59,100 jobs, while public sector employment rose 1.3 percent with a net gain of 7,500 jobs.
From November 2018 through November 2019, 12 out of the 13 major industries added jobs while one sector contracted.
The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
• Information with 11,800 new jobs
• Education and health services with 11,300 new jobs
• Professional and business services with 9,800 new jobs