Washington State Employment Security Department announcement.
Washington’s economy added 14,000 jobs in December. Between November and December, the preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent.
“The recovery of Washington state jobs lost during the COVID crisis is still underway,” said the Employment Security Department’s (ESD) Economist Paul Turek. “The drop in the unemployment rate to a pandemic-era low underscores the tightness in the labor market.”
The Monthly Employment Report also includes:
- Preliminary job estimates for December from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Confirmation of the preliminary 4.7 percent unemployment rate for November.
- An adjustment to preliminary jobs data for November, with the preliminary estimated gain of 12,800 jobs revised to a gain of 17,800 jobs. The revised estimate represents a more accurate picture of developments in the job market for November by including additional information that was not available at the time of the previous month’s release
ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 58,587 people in December, an increase of 7,227 over the previous month. Winter layoffs in industries that rely on seasonal hires was a major contributor to this increase in paid claims.
National unemployment rate
The national unemployment rate dropped from 4.2 percent in November to the preliminary rate of 3.9 percent in December. For comparison, the national unemployment rate (revised) for December 2020, was 6.7 percent.
State labor force grows again in December
The state’s labor force in December was 3,952,900 – an increase of 15,000 people from the previous month. Labor force is defined as the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 7,600 over the same period. From December 2020 to December 2021, the state’s labor force increased by 122,500 while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 19,200.
From November to December, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased from 185,700 to 176,900. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed decreased from 76,700 to 72,100 over the same period.
Of the industry sectors, in December:
- 10 expanded.
- Two contracted
- One was unchanged.
Private sector employment increased by 10,300 jobs while government employment increased by 3,700 jobs. Table 2 shows a summary of the job gains and losses in all 13 industry sectors.
Payroll employment shows broad-based growth in 2021
Washington gained an estimated 178,100 jobs from December 2020 – December 2021, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment rose by 5.9 percent, up an estimated 159,700 jobs, while public sector employment rose by 3.4 percent, up an estimated 18,400 jobs.
From December 2020 – December 2021, 12 major industry sectors expanded and one contracted
The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year over year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
- Leisure and hospitality up 78,600 jobs.
- Government up 18,400
- Professional and business services up 17,800 jobs.
The industry sector that contracted year over year, not seasonally adjusted, was mining ad logging, down 100 jobs.
Table 1: Washington’s total jobs
*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.
Table 2: Job gains and losses by industry
Monthly Employment Report publication schedule for 2022
|Preliminary data for the month of:||State and Seattle Metropolitan Division data released||All other county data released|
|January 2022||March 2||March 8|
|February 2022||March 16||March 22|
|March 2022||April 13||April 19|
|April 2022||May 18||May 24|
|May 2022||June 15||June 21|
|June 2022||July 20||July 26|
|July 2022||Aug. 17||Aug. 23|
|August 2022||Sept. 14||Sept. 20|
|September 2022||Oct. 19||Oct. 25|
|October 2022||Nov. 16||Nov. 22|
|November 2022||Dec. 14||Dec. 20|
|December 2022||Jan. 18, 2023||Jan. 24, 2023|