Washington State added 3,600 new jobs in November, which helped lower the unemployment rate statewide from 5.4 to 5.3 percent that month, the lowest rate since June 2008, according to the state Employment Security Department.
“Washington’s economy is moving into the end of the year with good forward momentum,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Jobs are being created and we are seeing historically low numbers for unemployment.”
The state’s overall unemployment rate is still well above the nationwide average of 4.6 percent for the month. Unemployment insurance benefits were distributed to 60,264 people in November. The November statistics for counties won’t be released until next week, but in October Grays Harbor County’s unemployment rate was listed at 8.5 percent, third highest in the state behind Wahkiakum County’s 8.6 percent and Ferry County’s 9.4 percent.
According to the report the state’s labor force — the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over age 16 — grew to 3.69 million in November, an increase of 14,900 from the previous month. From November 2015 to November 2016, the state’s labor force grew by 128,400. Private-sector employment increased by 4,700 jobs and government employment decreased by 1,100 in November.
Washington has added an estimated 95,100 new jobs from November 2015 to November 2016.