Takeaways from jobs reports: Washington, Oregon and California are growing well. Meanwhile, the nation still faces a persistent jobs gap from the recession. And nationally the quality of jobs created is in doubt.

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The latest data from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows Washington, Oregon and California turning in some of the top job growth in the nation on a 12-month basis.

Washington saw 3.31 percent job growth, while Oregon clocked in at 3.45 percent and California at 3.18 percent. They ranked seventh, fifth and ninth respectively.

No 1 was Utah, with 4.06 percent growth, while West Virginia was No. 50, actually losing jobs. The U.S. average was 2.33 percent.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if Washington could make better progress in addressing unemployment outside the Seattle metropolitan area.  In March, the vast majority of counties were showing unemployment rates above the statewide seasonally adjusted rate of 5.9 percent.

In the northeast corner of the state, Ferry County had 11.4 percent unemployment in March, the highest in the state. Its neighbors did little better: Pend Orelle at 10.6 percent and Stevens at 10 percent. Much of this is a long-term national phenomenon of urban areas outpacing rural ones in economic growth, and here especially the decline of extraction industries. But Spokane County turned in a 6.8 percent jobless rate and Pierce County 6.5 percent. (The map is here).

Meanwhile, look at Friday’s national report for April. The U.S. Labor Department’s establishments survey showed a net gain of 233,000 jobs, while the household survey was 192,000. Not bad and way better than March.

Still, the Hamilton Project noted that the nation still faced a jobs gap of 3.9 million — job growth that was lost because of the Great Recession.

Another insight comes from Mike Shedlock, who runs Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis blog. “Part-time employment went up by 198,000 meaning the entire increase in household survey employment was part-time,” he writes.


Today’s Econ Haiku:

Our port in a storm

Of human-caused climate change

Where the game is rigged