Labor market takes a step up in July

OLYMPIA — Washington’s economy added 12,400 jobs in July and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for July was 4.6 percent, according to the Employment Security Department.

The July unemployment rate decreased slightly from the June 2018 unemployment rate of 4.7 percent, matching a historical low.

“The state continues to feel the positive impact its economy is having on employment,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Benchmark revisions to the data showed that job growth has accelerated with the beginning of the calendar year.”

The Employment Security Department on Aug. 15 released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its July Monthly Employment Report. The department also announced that June’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.7 was confirmed. Job gains in June were revised significantly upward from 4,100 to 7,100 jobs.

The state’s labor force in July was 3,763,300 — an increase of 3,100 people from the previous month.

From July 2017 through July 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 30,300. The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Private sector employment increased by 11,900 while the public sector added 500 jobs in July.

The report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in professional and business services up 4,200, retail trade up 3,100, manufacturing up 1,700, wholesale trade up 1,600 and information up 1,500. Other sectors adding jobs were education and health services and government both up 500, and construction up 300.

Financial activities experienced the biggest reduction in July losing 500 jobs while leisure and hospitality and other services both lost 200 jobs and transportation, warehousing and utilities lost 100 jobs.

The number of jobs in the mining and logging sector remained constant in July.

Washington added an estimated 102,500 new jobs from July 2017 through July 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.7 percent, up an estimated 103,600 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 0.2 percent with a net loss of 1,100 jobs.

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