Unemployment

Washington Employment Security Department

Employers added 5,600 more jobs in Washington state last month. But the statewide unemployment rate as reported by the state Wednesday rose by three-tenths of a point to 6.0 percent. 

Ron Doke / Flickr

In recent years, corporate America has made a big push to hire veterans that seems to be paying off. Statistics show that veterans have a lower unemployment rate now than the overall population.

But that’s not the case for women veterans who have served since 9/11. Their unemployment rate of 11.2 percent is almost double the national rate of 5.8 percent. For men who have served since 9/11, the unemployment rate is 6.2 percent.

But when you start to try to figure out why women who served in the past decade or so are lagging in the job market, it quickly becomes apparent there are no easy answers.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Job growth stalled during September in Oregon and Washington, according to new numbers from the respective state employment departments.

In Washington's case, state labor economist Paul Turek is not too concerned by one month of flat hiring.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Washington state’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.6 percent in August — a half-percentage point below the national rate, according to a report released Wednesday by the state’s Employment Security Department.

State labor economist Paul Turek said improving economic conditions bode well for job seekers going into fall.

Steady job gains are chipping away at the unemployment rate in Washington state. New numbers released by the Employment Department Wednesday show the statewide jobless rate dropped to 6.1 percent in April, down from 6.3 percent in March. 

The vast majority of new jobs are being created in the Seattle metro area. In the last reporting month, the jobless rate in 87 percent of Washington counties was higher than the national average.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

High school junior Marcus Hollman wants a job — "something to get me into the job market," he says. But he keeps running into the same words like a brick wall: "professional experience required."

"There are very few employers ready to accept someone with no previous experience," said Hollman, a student at Harrison Preparatory Academy, after attending a youth-oriented job fair in Tacoma on Tuesday.

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

It took four years, but Washington has now recovered more jobs than it lost during the Great Recession. But Wednesday’s announcement comes with a caveat.

It’s taking longer for Pierce County to bounce back from the recession than counties to the north, such as King and Snohomish. But economists at Pacific Lutheran University expect the economy in Tacoma and the region to show some improvement this year. 

PLU economists Martin Wurm and Neal Johnson have been crunching the numbers on everything from Pierce County’s housing market to retail sales to come up with an economic forecast. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo

The unemployment rate in Washington dropped a notch in November. New numbers released by the state Wednesday peg the jobless rate at 6.8 percent — down from a flat 7 percent the previous month.

Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Unemployment benefits are about to run out for tens of thousands of Northwesterners. Without a Congressional extension, payments will stop later this month to people who've been without a job for more than six months.

The holiday season will mean an end to unemployment checks for about 1.3 million Americans, including about 45,000 jobless in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. State benefits are still intact, but those last no more than six months. These cuts affect people who, in some cases, have been looking for work for more than a year.

The unemployment rate in Washington state edged up slightly in August to an even 7 percent as hiring slowed, according to new numbers released Wednesday from the state Employment Department.

The latest figures follow a surprising trend: Washington's jobless numbers hew closer to the national rate than any other state over recent years.

Steven Senne, File / AP Photo

Washington's statewide unemployment rate is staying "pretty flat" this summer according to a state labor economist. A fresh jobs report released Wednesday shows the unemployment rate ticked up a tiny bit to 6.9 percent in July, from 6.8 percent in June.

But state economist Paul Turek says he puts more stock in a different number from the monthly jobs report. He says the number of new jobs created last month continues to expand at a "decent" pace.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s idled construction industry continued to show signs of life in August. Nonetheless, the state’s jobless rate still rose slightly. Overall Washington lost 1,100 jobs last month. The new unemployment rate announced Wednesday is 8.6 percent -– up a tenth of a percent from July.

Construction was one of the bright spots. That hard-hit sector added nearly 2,000 jobs in August. But chief labor economist Joe Elling says construction is still digging out of a deep hole.

Brian Talbot / flickr.com

The average annual wage in Washington grew by 3.6% in 2011. 

The state Employment Security Department says wages outpaced inflation by 0.9 percentage points.

The average annual salary in Washington was $49,894 last year, up from $48,162 in 2010.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The latest jobs report for Washington state contains a paradox. It shows strong job growth in the private sector. But at the same time, the state unemployment rate also rose.

Washington's Employment Department Wednesday reported a May jobless rate of 8.3 percent, up slightly from the revised 8.2 percent rate of April.

State labor economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said in a conference call that the higher unemployment rate was caused primarily by once-discouraged workers resuming their job hunts.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s jobless rate continues to inch downward. The April numbers out Wednesday put unemployment at 8.1 percent . That’s down from 8.3 percent in March. Most of April’s job growth was in manufacturing.

State economist Dave Wallace says so far 2012 is proving to be a recovery year in Washington.

Images courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry

Maybe you’ve heard the line, "Will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights." That well-worn phrase came from a billboard in 1971 as the Boeing Company stalled and then fell into a tailspin.

And while the "Boeing Bust" happened a long time ago, that economic slump, almost as much as the most recent one, is still a part of our collective consciousness.

Why does it still resonate all these years later?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

For as long as he can remember, German teenager Robin Dittmar has been obsessed with airplanes. As a little boy, the sound of a plane overhead would send him into the backyard to peer into the sky. Toys had to have wings. Even today, Dittmar sees his car as a kind of ersatz Boeing.

"I've got the number 747 as the number plate of my car. I'm really in love with this airplane," the 18-year-old says.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Thousands of long-term unemployed workers in Washington and Oregon will soon no longer receive unemployment checks. The federal government won't pay for extended benefits anymore because the jobless rates have improved in both states.

Washington and Oregon's employment departments announced that one emergency unemployment program is being curtailed and another is being shut down completely this month. That shortens the maximum time a worker can collect unemployment from nearly two years down to about a year and five months.

RICHLAND, Wash. — The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory plans to lay off 45 employees this week.

The cutbacks are in order to adjust to the latest federal budget approved in December.

Cellular Immunity / Flickr

The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in three years. The stock market is up.  But, are you feeling better about the economy? 

Maybe it was the economic news. Maybe it was the sun coming out for the first time in a while, but most people we talked to on the streets of downtown Seattle this afternoon said they were feeling positive.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The number of people who are out of work in Washington is falling. It’s a sign the economy is recovering – albeit slowly. But it’s only been in the last two months that the government sector has started hiring again.

o5com / Flickr

We've heard a lot of stories lately about the struggles of young, unemployed people with college degrees. A Washington State agency says the reason for that is a lot of students are choosing the wrong majors for this economy.

If they spent less time and money on school, they might have an easier time getting a job and make more money, at least in the short term.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington added more than 12,000 jobs in November. That drops the state unemployment rate to 8.7 percent.

In fact, employment statistics released Wednesday show that job growth has reached a four-year high in Washington.

The unemployment rate for teens and young adults in Washington is one of the highest in the nation – and it’s especially tough on high school dropouts. That’s why state education leaders are trying to ramp up an effort to help students get diplomas and jobs or college placements at the same time.

It seems like everyone is talking about the J word lately. That would be JOBS. The President was on the road in the Midwest talking about them this week.

Now Democratic Senator Patty Murray spent a couple hours at a local Seattle factory talking about how to keep them, how to create them and how to train people for them.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Thousands of Washington workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits still do not have jobs.

An Employment Security Department report released Thursday shows that 75 percent of people who have run out of benefits since November 2009 are still out of work.

Associated Press

Washington's employment data is showing mixed signals about the direction of the state's economy.

New figures released Wednesday morning by the Employment Security Department show Washington's unemployment rate grew to 9.2 percent in June, even though a separate indicator showed that the state added 3,600 jobs.

In a new study, Washington teens are only slightly better off than teens in Georgia when it comes to unemployment rates, and that puts them second in the country for the worst employment opportunities.

The analysis of newly-released Census Bureau data by the fiscally conservative Washington, D.C.-based group Employment Policies Institute finds that 25 states have teen unemployment above 25 percent as of April. And, when data about discouraged job seekers is factored into the picture, 23 states have rates above 27 percent.

Washington’s rate plus the discouraged job seekers is 35.4 percent, the Institute reports.

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