Unemployment rate up, jobs (sort of) down in October

  • BY Wire Service
  • Tuesday, November 18, 2008 2:53pm
  • News

The nation’s economic woes continued to be felt in Washington state in October, where the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 6.3 percent from September’s rate of 5.8 percent, according to the state Employment Security Department.

At the same time, the roughly 24,000 aerospace jobs that were on strike in October contributed to a net loss of 23,200 non-agricultural jobs. Without the strike, jobs in Washington increased by about 800.

“The employment losses look dramatic, but we recouped all of them and then some when the Boeing strikers returned to work in November,” said Mary Ayala, chief economist for Employment Security.

The industry sectors that experienced the largest declines last month were manufacturing, down 25,300 jobs (without the jobs affected by labor-management disputes, 1,300 jobs were lost); retail trade, down 1,700; education services, down 1,700 jobs; and construction, down 1,100.

The biggest job gains were in government, up 6,000 jobs (5,600 in local government); health and social services, up 1,300 jobs; and professional, scientific and technical services, up 600.

Year over year, Washington lost 20,500 nonfarm jobs from October 2007 to October 2008, a decline of 0.7 percent. Without the effects of the Boeing strike, jobs grew by about 3,500, or 0.12 percent.

Nationally, jobs declined by 0.8 percent over the past year.

October marked the eighth consecutive month in which year-over-year job growth was less than 2 percent, but still in positive territory. By contrast, Ayala pointed out, during the post-9/11 recession that began in 2001, the state experienced 25 consecutive months of job losses.

Some 203,820 people (not seasonally adjusted) were unemployed and seeking work in Washington last month.

Job seekers can get help looking for work at local WorkSource offices, where Employment Security and its partners offer a variety of employment services, including free help with interviewing skills, résumés and job referrals. In addition, nearly 90,000 current job openings are posted on www.go2worksource.com.

Locations of local WorkSource offices are listed in the blue pages of telephone books and online at www.go2worksource.com. Assistance also is available by phone at 877-872-5627.

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