Washington State Employment Security Department announcement.
Washington’s economy gained an estimated 13,100 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in November. Job growth was highest in the following industries: Education and health services, professional and business services, government, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and information.
Washington’s monthly unemployment rate rose from 3.8% to 4.0% in November.
“Despite the uptick in the unemployment rate, unemployment is low by historical standards,” said the Employment Security Department’s (ESD) State Economist Paul Turek. “And while companies may be taking a more cautious approach to hiring, the number of new jobs added in November indicates that we are still in a favorable environment for job seekers.”
Visit ESD’s website to view the entire Monthly Employment Report for November.
ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 42,770 people in November, an increase of 8,157 paid claims over the previous month. Typical seasonal increases in paid claims within agriculture and construction contributed to the overall increase in paid claims over the month.
National unemployment rate The national unemployment rate remained constant from October to November at a preliminary rate of 3.7%. For comparison, the national unemployment rate (revised) for November 2021 was 4.2%.
Updated preliminary data for October 2022
- The preliminary estimated gain of 5,400 jobs for October 2022 was revised upwards to a gain of 6,000 jobs.
- The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate was 3.8%.
Labor force numbers continue to struggle
The state’s labor force in November numbered 4,003,400 – a decrease of 4,400 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 4,400 over the same period.
Childcare issues, aging workforce, retirements and shifted work preferences are all contributing factors to a decrease in the labor force.
From November 2021 to November 2022, the state’s labor force increased by 57,200, while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 45,500.
From October to November, the number of people who were unemployed statewide increased from 153,500 to 161,100. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed increased from 49,300 to 51,600 over the same period.
Of the industry sectors, in November:
- Nine expanded
- Two contracted
- Two were unchanged
Private sector employment increased by 11,000 jobs while government employment increased by 2,100 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 18,600 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 employment has been coming back
Washington gained an estimated 130,900 jobs from November 2021 – November 2022, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment rose by 4.1%, up an estimated 118,700 jobs, while public sector employment rose by 2.2%, up an estimated 12,200 jobs.
From November – November 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 28,100 jobs.
- Professional and business services, up 25,300 jobs.
- Education and health services, up 22,200 jobs.