Washington’s economy added 11,200 jobs in April and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate stayed constant at 5.5 percent from March to April, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).
|Month||Total Jobs (losses or gains)||Unemployment rate||2019/2020 Unemployment Rate|
|March 2020||-23,100||5.3 percent*||4.4 percent|
|April 2020||-385,800||16.3 percent*||4.3 percent|
|May 2020||-11,500||12.5 percent*||4.2 percent|
|June 2020||+ 83,900*||10.8 percent*||4.1 percent|
|July 2020||+ 37,900||10.8 percent*||4.1 percent|
|August 2020||+ 30,600*||9.1 percent*||4.1 percent|
|September 2020||+ 13,000*||8.0 percent*||4.0 percent|
|October 2020||+ 2,700*||7.0 percent*||3.9 percent|
|November 2020||+ 7,100*||6.7 percent*||3.9 percent|
|December 2020||– 11,100*||6.3 percent||3.9 percent|
|January 2021||+ 5,100*||6.0 percent||4.0 percent|
|February 2021||+ 29,600*||5.6 percent||4.1 percent|
|March 2021||+ 28,100*||5.5 percent*||5.3 percent|
|April 2021||+ 11,200||5.5 percent||16.3 percent|
*Revised from previous preliminary estimates. Preliminary monthly estimates for jobs losses or gains are based on a small Bureau of Labor Statistics payroll survey while actual figures reported the following month are based on a more complete survey.
“This month shows that recovering lost jobs from the pandemic is not a seamless process,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Meanwhile, leisure and hospitality services, the hardest hit sector in the economy, continues to make a comeback.”
ESD released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.
The department also announced that March’s previously reported unemployment rate of 5.6 percent was revised to 5.5 percent. March’s preliminary estimated gain of 23,100 jobs was revised upward to a gain of 28,100 jobs.
The national unemployment rate rose slightly from 6.0 percent in March to 6.1 percent in April. In April 2020, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 14.8 percent.
ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 376,064 people in April, a decrease of 52,726 over the previous month.
More workers are returning to the job market
The state’s labor force in April was 3,864,900 – an increase of 14,200 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 3,600 over the same period.
From April 2020 to April 2021, the state’s labor force decreased by 123,500 while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 45,800.
The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.
From March to April, the number of people who were unemployed statewide increased from 210,800 to 213,100. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed increased from 94,000 to 94,500 over the same period.
Eight industry sectors expanded, four industry sectors contracted and one industry sector remained constant in April
Private sector employment increased by 7,600 jobs while government employment increased by 3,600 jobs. Provided below is a summary of the job gains and losses in all thirteen industry sectors.
|Industry Sector||Jobs Gains/Losses|
|Leisure & hospitality||+ 8,100|
|Wholesale trade||+ 1,900|
|Education and health services||+ 1,300|
|Financial activities||+ 700|
|Other services||+ 300|
|Retail trade||+ 200|
|Mining & logging||0|
|Transportation, warehousing and utilities||– 1,300|
|Professional and business services||– 3,400|
Employment is now up from one year ago
Washington gained an estimated 230,700 jobs from April 2020 – April 2021, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment rose by 9.4 percent, up an estimated 238,700 jobs, while public sector employment fell by 1.4 percent with a net loss of 8,000 jobs.
From April 2020 – April 2021, ten major industry sectors expanded while three industry sectors contracted.
The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
- Leisure and hospitality up 67,400 jobs
- Retail trade up 53,200 jobs
- Education and health services up 48,600 jobs
The three industry sectors which contracted year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
- Manufacturing down 12,900 jobs
- Government down 8,000 jobs
- Financial activities down 700 jobs
Labor market information
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Monthly Employment Report publication schedule for 2021
|Preliminary Data for the month of||State and Seattle Metropolitan Division data released||All Other County data released|
|January 2021||March 16||March 16|
|February 2021||March 24||March 30|
|March 2021||April 14||April 20|
|April 2021||May 19||May 25|
|May 2021||June 16||June 22|
|June 2021||July 14||July 20|
|July 2021||August 18||August 24|
|August 2021||September 15||September 21|
|September 2021||October 20||October 26|
|October 2021||November 17||November 23|
|November 2021||December 15||December 21|
|December 2021||January 19, 2022||January 25, 2022|