Washington’s economy added 6,100 jobs in December and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate came in at 4.5 percent, according to the Employment Security Department.
“Washington employers on balance are steadily creating jobs, more people are going to work and unemployment is hovering at record lows,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “That’s a perfect recipe for producing a healthy labor market.”
The department also announced that November’s previously announced unemployment rate of 4.5 percent was revised downward to 4.4 percent – a new low for unemployment in Washington.
November job gains for the state were also revised up from 9,800 to 11,100 jobs.
The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in December.
In December last year, the Washington unemployment rate was 5.1 percent.
The state’s labor force dropped by 9,500 people from the previous month but in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 6,000 over the same period.
From December 2016 through December 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 86,000.
The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.
In the private sector employment increased by 2,000 and government employment increased by 4,100 jobs in December.
The report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality up 3,900, manufacturing up 2,400, and construction up 1,500.
Professional and business services faced the biggest reduction in December, losing 3,300 jobs.
According to the report Washington added an estimated 95,500 new jobs from December 2016 through December 2017.
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