Announcement from the Washington State Department of Employment Security.
Washington’s economy added 31,700 jobs in February. In February, the seasonally adjusted provisional monthly unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.3%.
“The state’s employment increase in February was the largest monthly increase since last July,” said Employment Security Department (ESD) economist Paul Turek. “Gains were broad-based, with almost all major industrial sectors increasing their payrolls during the month.”
The monthly employment report also includes:
- Preliminary employment estimates for February from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Confirmation of the preliminary unemployment rate of 4.4% for January.
- An adjustment to preliminary employment data for January, with an estimated gain of 5,700 jobs revised to a gain of 3,000 jobs. The revised estimate paints a more accurate picture of labor market developments in January by including additional information that was not available at the time of the previous month’s release.
ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 55,819 people in February, down 10,976 from the previous month. Lower claims from the construction, agriculture, and accommodation and food services sectors contributed to the overall drop in claims paid during the month.
National unemployment rate
the national the unemployment rate fell from 4% in January to a preliminary rate of 3.8% in February. For comparison, the national unemployment rate (revised) for February 2021 was 6.2%.
Workers show more signs of returning to the labor market
The state’s labor force in February was 3,982,400, an increase of 22,000 people from the previous month. The labor force is defined as the total number of people, employed and unemployed, over the age of 16. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area, the labor force grew by 10,500 over the same period. From February 2021 to February 2022, the state’s labor force grew by 111,300 while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area grew by 43,000.
From January through February, the number of unemployed people statewide rose from 173,900 to 170,800. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area, the number of unemployed rose from 60,700 to 58,800 on the same period.
Among industry sectors, in February:
- Twelve expanded.
- One was unchanged.
Private sector employment increased by 24,400 jobs while government employment increased by 7,300 jobs. Table 2 presents a summary of employment gains and losses in the 13 industrial sectors.
Annual payrolls increase for all industries
Washington gained about 191,900 jobs from February 2021 to February 2022, unadjusted. Private sector employment rose 6.4%, up about 172,700 jobs, while public sector employment rose 3.5%, up about 19,200 jobs.
From February 2021 to February 2022, the 13 main industrial sectors have developed
The three industry sectors that recorded the strongest year-over-year employment gains, unadjusted for seasonality, were:
- Leisure and hospitality up 72,000 jobs.
- Professional and business services up 31,200 jobs.
- Government up 19,200