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Washington State's unemployment rate hits low of 6.3%, under nation's 6.7%

The Employment Security Department announced today that March did not see a change in the unemployment rate for our state and February’s number was updated from 6.4% to 6.3%. This positive outlook is due to an accelerated rate of hiring as well as the addition of about 6,700 new jobs in the month of March. Also, January and February each saw approximately 5,800 gains in new positions; which included a revision for the month of February of an additional 3,300 positions from the originally reported number of 2,500.

Other data of note for March is the expansion of the state’s labor force, up by 9,500; which is only about 500 less than February’s increase of 10,000. The occupational areas that saw job gains included professional and business services; manufacturing; retail; private education and health services; construction; leisure and hospitality; information; and transportation, warehousing and utilities. The largest job gains came from professional and business services with approximately 3,100 new jobs added with the breakdown as 2,600 being office workers and 1,400 being positions through temporary employment agencies.

Job losses were mainly found in the segments of state government and public education, wholesale trade, financial activities in the realm of lending and insurance, and other services. Recall from February’s employment information, that private education and health services; construction; and transportation, warehousing and utilities were among the occupational areas that reported job losses, and for March, they are all included in the bucket for job gains. More detailed information on our state’s monthly employment report can be found by visiting this website.

It’s a positive sign to see that the unemployment rate was revised to a decreased number in February, which also held steady for March. It’s also an encouraging sign that the Employment Security Department adjusted up the number of new jobs created for February. Let’s hope that our state continues to see an optimistic trend with our employment situation as we move into spring and summer.

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