Washington unemployment rate rises slightly in August

Washington state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased a tenth of a percentage point to 4.6 percent in August, primarily due to a jump in the state’s labor force.

According to the state Employment Security Department, the stronger job market attracted many more job seekers into the labor force last month.  Still, overall unemployment remained low and Washington businesses continued to add jobs – an estimated 2,000 over the month.  Private sector employment increased by 4,900, and government employment fell by 2,900 jobs in August.

The greatest job growth occurred in retail trade; construction; and transportation, warehousing and utilities.  Other sectors adding jobs were education and health services; wholesale trade; information; and financial services.

Government and other services faced the biggest reduction in August, followed by professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; manufacturing; and mining and logging. (ESD)