A press release from Washington State Employment Security Department.
Washington’s economy added 16,800 jobs in August and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate remained constant at 5.1 percent from July to August, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).
|Month||Total Jobs (losses or gains)||Unemployment rate||2019/2020 Unemployment Rate|
|March 2020||-22,200*||5.3 percent*||4.4 percent|
|April 2020||-388,000*||16.3 percent*||4.3 percent|
|May 2020||-11,000*||12.5 percent*||4.2 percent|
|June 2020||+ 83,400*||10.8 percent*||4.1 percent|
|July 2020||+ 38,900||10.8 percent*||4.1 percent|
|August 2020||+ 30,100*||9.1 percent*||4.1 percent|
|September 2020||+ 12,400*||8.0 percent*||4.0 percent|
|October 2020||+ 6,200*||7.0 percent*||3.9 percent|
|November 2020||+ 7,600*||6.7 percent*||3.9 percent|
|December 2020||– 9,100*||6.3 percent||3.9 percent|
|January 2021||+ 8,100*||6.0 percent||4.0 percent|
|February 2021||+ 20,200*||5.6 percent||4.1 percent|
|March 2021||+ 23,900*||5.5 percent*||5.3 percent|
|April 2021||+ 13,200||5.4 percent*||16.3 percent|
|May 2021||+ 9,100*||5.2 percent*||12.5 percent|
|June 2021||+25,600*||5.2 percent||10.8 percent|
|July 2021||+24,300*||5.1 percent||10.8 percent|
|August 2021||+16,800||5.1 percent||9.1 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.
“August’s job gain numbers were reasonably solid in the face of renewed health concerns,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “But the uncertainty around the Delta variant is likely to result in an uneven labor market recovery.”
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 July’s previously reported unemployment rate of 5.1 percent was confirmed. July’s preliminary estimated gain of 22,700 jobs was revised upward to a gain of 24,300 jobs.
The national unemployment rate dropped from 5.4 percent in July to 5.2 percent in August. In August 2020, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 8.4 percent.
ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 274,036 people in August, a decrease of 42,307 over the previous month.
Workers continue to trickle back to the labor force
The state’s labor force in August was 3,923,000 – an increase of 16,700 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 3,800 over the same period.
From August 2020 to August 2021, the state’s labor force increased by 36,900 while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 25,900.
The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.
From July to August, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased from 199,200 to 198,800. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed decreased from 89,200 to 88,700 over the same period.
Nine industry sectors expanded, three industry sectors contracted, and one industry sector remained constant in August
Private sector employment increased by 13,000 jobs while government employment increased by 3,800 jobs. Provided below is a summary of the job gains and losses in all thirteen industry sectors.
Industry sector Job gains/losses
|Leisure and hospitality||+ 8,500|
|Professional and business services||+ 3,400|
|Transportation, warehousing and utilities||+ 1,500|
|Other services||+ 700|
|Education and health services||+ 200|
|Financial activities||+ 100|
|Mining and logging||0|
|Wholesale trade||– 200|
|Retail trade||– 1,700|
Leisure and hospitality industry once again contributes most of the job gains
Washington gained an estimated 174,600 jobs from August 2020 – August 2021, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment rose by 6.5 percent, up an estimated 175,100 jobs, while public sector employment fell by 0.1 percent, down an estimated 500 jobs.
From August 2020 – August 2021, ten major industry sectors expanded, two industry sectors contracted, and one remained constant.
The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
- Leisure and hospitality up 63,400 jobs
- Professional and business services up 34,800 jobs
- Education and health services up 25,700 jobs
The two industry sectors which contracted year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
- Manufacturing down 5,100 jobs
- Government down 500 jobs