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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Idea: Labor Saver

Bright Idea: Labor Saver

Forget email. Shyft Technologies makes shift swapping easy.
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

New legislation requiring Seattle businesses with 500 or more employees to schedule workers’ hourly shifts two weeks in advance will be a boon to some, but it could complicate the lives of many workers and employers.

Seattle startup Shyft Technologies has created a free smartphone app that simplifies the tangled dance of schedule shuffling by making it easier for employees to swap shifts and for bosses to get shifts covered on short notice. 

The app notifies all staffers automatically when open shifts are posted. Swaps can be approved right on the app. By matching in real time the hours when workers are available with the hours employees need work done, the app creates a more efficient market.

A worker or manager can easily add a bonus as an incentive to fill a shift on short notice, says

Shyft CEO Brett Patrontasch. “It’s a lot easier than email,” he observes. Meanwhile, workers can quickly change their availability status if they want to make more money or free up more time.

The Shyft app uses a combination of geolocation, financial transactions, machine learning and big data analytics to determine availability and pricing. The goal is to create an on-demand workforce that has more control over schedules while providing employers with the fluidity to operate efficiently.

As of late September, more than 12,000 Starbucks baristas, 3,500 Old Navy staffers and 7,500 McDonald’s employees were using Shyft’s app.

Founded in Toronto, the startup moved to Seattle in February to participate in the three-month Techstars mentoring program. This past summer, Shyft obtained $1.5 million in funding from Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group and other investors.