Washington State Employment Security Department press release.
Washington’s economy gained an estimated 16,100 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in August. Job growth was highest in the following industries: government, education & health services, professional & business services and retail trade.
The July 2022 preliminary estimated gain of 6,600 jobs was revised to a gain of 10,200 jobs.
The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for July was confirmed at 3.7% and remained constant in August.
“This month’s payroll numbers, along with last month’s upward revision, show the results of strong summer spending, which supported hiring by businesses,” said the Employment Security Department’s (ESD) State Economist Paul Turek. “However, the decline in household employment serves as an indication the labor market is beginning to cool.”
Visit ESD’s website to view the entire Monthly Employment Report for July.
ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 35,929 people in August, an increase of 1,468 over the previous month. Increases in paid claims within the administrative & support, waste management & remediation services, and agriculture sectors contributed to the overall increase in paid claims over the month.
National unemployment rate
The national unemployment rate increased in August from 3.5% to a preliminary rate of 3.7%. For comparison, the national unemployment rate (revised) for August 2021 was 5.2%.
Labor force contracts for second consecutive month
The state’s labor force in August was 4,020,700 – a decrease of 9,700 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 decreased by 4,000 over the same period.
From August 2021 to August 2022, the state’s labor force increased by 91,400, while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 61,800.
From July to August, the number of people who were unemployed statewide increased slightly from 149,100 to 149,600. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed increased from 45,000 to 46,300 over the same period.
Of the industry sectors, in August:
- Ten expanded.
- Two contracted.
- One was unchanged.
Private sector employment increased by 9,400 jobs while government employment increased by 6,700 jobs. Table 2 shows a summary of the job gains and losses in all 13 industry sectors.
Annual payrolls are up over the year for nearly every industry
Washington gained an estimated 161,100 jobs from August 2021 – August 2022, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment rose by 5.6%, up an estimated 158,900 jobs, while public sector employment rose by 0.5%, up an estimated 2,700 jobs.
From August 2021 – August 2022, 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 32,500 jobs.
- Professional and business services, up 31,900 jobs.
- Education and health services, up 26,700 jobs.
The mining and logging industry is the one sector that contracted, losing 300 jobs from August 2021 – August 2022.