State officials say Washington’s job market in July continued to grow even as the unemployment rate saw a slight increase.
Numbers released yesterday by the state Employment Security Department show the unemployment rate rose slightly to six-point-nine percent – compared to six-point-eight percent in June. The job market continued to strengthen by adding an estimated 88-hundred jobs.
State labor economist with the Employment Security Department Paul Turek said the numbers suggest a decent month of employment, with less businesses afraid to hire new employees.
Industries that saw the biggest job gains last month were education and health services, professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. Sectors that saw that largest losses were wholesale trade, government and construction. Turek said the private sector typically drives job growth.
Turek said the housing industry has also showed continuous signs of progress. The industry is stimulating more hiring in construction and financial activity.
There has also been a slight contraction in the labor force, Turek said. That’s not atypical with the number of education service jobs that vanish during the summer, but there’s also usually an uptick from students entering the labor force when looking for summer work.
More than 239,000 people were unemployed and looking for work last month, including over 100,000 who claimed unemployment benefits during that same period.
So far, Washington has recovered about eighty-three percent of the jobs lost during the recession.
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