The state Employment Security Department released February jobless rates this morning and they show a renewed improvement, despite January’s temporarily higher report.
For the state as a whole, February’s jobless rate is 5.3 percent, down from January’s 5.7 percent and back to the same as reported in December 2016. Some 15,335 fewer claimants collected unemployment benefits in the second month of the year.
For greater Tacoma, the preliminary February report of 6.1 percent is two-tenths better than in January and improved from the 2016 average of 6.3 percent. Olympia-Thurston County showed 5.7 percent unemployed in February, while Lewis and Mason Counties each came in at 8.1 percent.
Seasonally adjusted, the statewide rate is shown at 4.9 percent, slightly above the national average of 4.7 percent, after Washington added 6,100 new jobs filled in February. Two-thirds of the new paychecks are being issued by private sector employers, with 2,000 added by public sector or government hirings.
You can check out the full report with links to individual county statistics here.