Washington’s economy added 6,100 jobs in February and the state unemployment rate fell from 5.1 to 4.9 percent – the lowest report since March 2008, according to the state Employment Security Department.
“Washington’s economy is moving forward with sustained momentum despite cutbacks in aerospace,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “The tech market is propelling western Washington, real estate is strong across the state and other economic segments are maintaining.”
The department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its February Monthly Employment Report.
“Washington’s labor market is at or near full employment,” said Turek. “It’s creating pressure to increase wages for some businesses.”
Both private-sector employment and government employment saw month-to-month increases in February, by 4,100 and 2,000 jobs, respectively.
This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in construction and government with 2,000 new jobs each. In addition, professional and business services increased 1,300; leisure and hospitality added 1,100; other services was up 1,000; financial activities jumped 500; and wholesale trade and information added 100 jobs each.
Manufacturing faced the biggest reduction in February, losing 900 jobs. Transportation, warehousing and utilities cut 600; and retail trade clipped 500. Education and health services and mining and logging were unchanged.
Manufacturing was also the biggest loser of jobs year-over-year, losing 7,100 jobs. At the other end of the spectrum, education and health services added 15,700 new jobs from 2015 to 2016.