Washington State Employment Security Department announcement.
Washington’s economy gained an estimated 5,400 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in October. Job growth was highest in the following industries: Leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, education and health services, government, transportation, warehousing and utilities. Collectively, these industries gained 10,800 jobs. Job loss was highest in the information industry, which lost 5,900 jobs.
Washington’s monthly unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.7% to 3.8% in October.
“October’s rise in payroll employment is positive news, even as employment growth begins to moderate,” said the Employment Security Department’s (ESD) State Economist Paul Turek. “The demand for workers has been resilient. “
Visit ESD’s website to view the entire Monthly Employment Report for October.
ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 34,613 people in October, a decrease of 1,239 paid claims over the previous month. Decreases in paid claims within the educational services and administrative and support services contributed to the overall decrease in paid claims over the month.
National unemployment rate
The national unemployment rate increased in October from 3.5% to a preliminary rate of 3.7%. For comparison, the national unemployment rate (revised) for October 2021 was 4.6%.
Updated preliminary data for September 2022
- The September 2022 preliminary estimated gain of 1,500 jobs was revised upwards to a gain of 7,900 jobs.
- The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for September was confirmed at 3.7%.
Labor force numbers edge lower
The state’s labor force in October numbered 4,008,100 – a decrease of 3,900 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 700 over the same period.
From October 2021 to October 2022, the state’s labor force increased by 60,500, while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 51,400.
From September to October, the number of people who were unemployed statewide increased from 149,900 to 153,700. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed increased from 47,400 to 49,800 over the same period.
Of the industry sectors, in October:
- Nine expanded
- Four contracted
Private sector employment increased by 3,800 jobs while government employment increased by 1,600 jobs. The private sector and public schools have regained positions lost during the pandemic. However, state and local government jobs have been slower to rebound, with government down 18,900 jobs since February of 2020. This is likely attributable to pandemic-related service reductions and recruiting challenges. Table 2 shows a summary of the job gains and losses in all 13 industry sectors.
Leisure and hospitality industry gained the most jobs over the year
Washington gained an estimated 130,300 jobs from October 2021 – October 2022, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment rose by 4.1%, up an estimated 119,100 jobs, while public sector employment rose by 2%, up an estimated 11,200 jobs.
From October 2021 – October 2022, eleven major industry sectors expanded and two contracted
The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year over year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
- Leisure and hospitality, up 31,200 jobs.
- Professional and business services, up 24,300 jobs.
- Education and health services, up 17,700 jobs.