Washington's jobless rate was 4.7 percent in June. Another measure of underemployment hit a new low in the first quarter. Construction employment statewide dipped, however.
Unemployment in Washington remained steady in June at 4.7 percent, the 19th consecutive month that the statewide seasonally adjusted rate has been below 5 percent.
The rate was 4.8 percent in June last year.
Washington’s economy added 4,100 jobs from May to June, but amid that growth was a slowdown in the construction industry, which had 2,200 fewer employees in June than reported in May, according to the state Employment Security Department. Compared to June last year, employment in the building industry was up 8,300 positions.
When the last recession began in February of 2008, nonfarm employment in Washington was just over 3 million jobs. The ensuing two years would see more than 182,000 jobs lost and a statewide unemployment rate of 10.4 percent by the end of the recession.
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In the last eight years, Washington’s economy has more than recovered, with this June’s nonfarm employment totaling more than 3.4 million jobs.
Another measure of the labor economy — the U-6 unemployment rate, that tracks unemployed and underemployed populations — hit a new low in the first quarter of 9 percent in Washington. In the second quarter of 2011, that rate hit a high of 18.7 percent.
The Washington industries gaining the most jobs from May to June include the broad category of professional and business services (up 3,800), information (up 1,000) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (up 900). In addition to the month’s decrease in construction, government employment decreased by 700 jobs.