WASHINGTON'S LEADING BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Unemployment Falls to 8.9% in June

It appears that things are looking up for Washington State labor force, unless you work for the government.

Unemployment in Washington State dipped to 8.9 percent for the month of June. This compares with 9.2 percent in May and 9.1 percent in June of 09. It looks like the economy has started to rebound and more people are finding jobs.

Most of the growth came from the private sector, with education and health services adding 1,300 jobs and construction adding an additional 1,000. No such ray of hope for government employees, almost 8,000 government jobs were cut throughout the month. Other sectors that saw growth were retail, manufacturing and good production.

Although the number of unemployed people dropped, the number of people employed also decreased. Dave Wallace, the acting chief economist for Washington State Employment Security, believes this largely has to do with the government letting some 7000 census workers go over the course of the summer, but there are also other factors. “Discouraged workers are no longer looking for jobs, people have moved out of state and students are going back to school,” he says.

Wallace also predicted that the private sector will continue to remain steady. “It showed growth, and may continue with moderate growth. At the least it will remain steady,” he says.

Questions have arisen relating to the decrease in unemployment, particularly surrounding the way unemployment benefits factor into the data. Although the number of people receiving unemployment is a factor, it doesn’t account for much more than 20 percent of the data, Wallace says. The biggest factor is a survey in which families are called and asked to report the number of unemployed people in their household.

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