WASHINGTON'S LEADING BUSINESS MAGAZINE

State job growth continues, but at a snail's pace

 

Washington State added 3,600 jobs in June from the month before reflecting 10 consecutive months of job growth, according to  the Washington State Employment Security Division. The new numbers include a revision to last month’s report to show that the state had added 2,500 jobs in May, instead of the originally reported loss of 700 jobs.

The private sector was the biggest contributor to job growth, adding 6,600 jobs in May, including 3,700 jobs in “other services” (includes things like equipment repair, pet care and parking services); 1,300 in manufacturing (mostly aerospace); 1,300 in transportation, warehousing and utilities; 1,200 in professional and business services; and 1,200 in wholesale trade. The private sector added a total of 57,800 jobs in the 12 months ended June 30.

Even so, unemployment in June rose to 9.2 percent, from  9.1 percent in May. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area, unemployment rose to 8.8 percent in June, from 8.7 percent the month before.

Dave Wallace, the acting chief economist at the Washington State Employment Security Division, said the state would have to add 3,600 jobs each month for a full year to decrease unemployment by one percentage point.  

One problem is job losses in the government sector where employment fell by 3,000. For the full year, the sector lost 15,000 jobs. Also showing declines were construction, down 1,800; financial activities, down 1,100; and education, down 1,000.

Despite the weak performance, some experts see improvement ahead. A net 11 percent of Washington executives plan to add full-time staff in the third quarter, and 98 percent of Washington executives surveyed are confident in their companies’ growth prospects, according to the Robert Half Professional Employment Report.