Washington’s record-low unemployment rate held firm in June at 4.5 percent, despite preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the state gained 2,500 jobs over the month. 

 “Washington’s economy continues to add jobs slowly, just not enough for the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to fall lower in June,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “There’s just not a lot of excess skilled labor available in the market for employers to dramatically increase hiring.”

The Employment Security Department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary jobs estimates from BLS as part of its June Monthly Employment Report.

In June last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent this June.

Also in the month, private sector employment decreased by 300 and government employment increased by 2,800 jobs. The greatest job growth occurred in government, which gained 2,800 jobs; wholesale trade, up 2,000; and other services up 1,900 new jobs. Other sectors adding jobs were construction up 1,400, financial services up 1,100, information up 600 and mining and logging and transportation, warehousing and utilities each up 100.     

Retail and education and health services faced the biggest reduction in June, losing 2,700 and 2,600 jobs respectively. Leisure and hospitality cut 1,200, professional and business services eliminated 600 and manufacturing trimmed 400.