The South Sound and Washington state economy continues to boom, judging from today’s release of October Employment statistics.
The preliminary statewide unemployment rate edged down one-tenth to 4.5 percent from September, compared to 5.3 percent for October 2016. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show 6,900 more jobs added last month, with all but 900 of those in the private sector. Seattle-King County continues to lead the state at 3.7 percent, third only to Chelan County-Wenatchee at 3.6 percent and tiny Asotin County at 3.3 percent unemployed.
Tacoma-Pierce County unemployment at 4.7 percent is slightly higher than the Washington average, while Olympia-Thurston County us slightly lower than the statewide number at 4.4 percent.
Mason County-Shelton at 5.5 percent unemployment is the lowest rate since October of 2006. And Centralia-Chehalis-Lewis County reported at 5.6 percent is at a record low jobless rate unmatched in 27 years of data compiled by the Employment Security Department.
Matt Matayoshi, executive director of Lewis County Economic Development Council that 5.6 percent, while higher than most other areas of the state, actually represents only 1,800 available workers unable to connect with a job. He calls that something close to a “full employment” situation for his area.
There will be further discussion of the present and future views of economic activity at a Regional Economic Forecast and Innovation EXPO on Thursday, Dec. 7, to be held at Little Creek Casino in Shelton. More information is at this link.