Washington’s economy added more than 12,000 jobs in July and the monthly unemployment rate dropped another tenth of a percent, marking continued strong economic figures for the state.
The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate now sits at 4.6 percent, matching a historical low, according to a news release from the Employment Security Department. The addition of 12,400 jobs was a notable uptick from the 7,100 mark in June.
“The state continues to feel the positive impact its economy is having on employment,” Paul Turek, a labor economist for the Employment Security Department, said in a statement. “Benchmark revisions to the data showed that job growth has accelerated with the beginning of the calendar year.”
Washington’s labor force in July was just above 3.76 million, an increase of 3,100 people from the previous month. Most of that growth came outside of the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, which added just 300 people to the workforce.
The report, released with data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed continued economic growth over the last 12 months. The labor force grew by more than 30,000 between July 2017 and July 2018, and the private sector grew by 3.7 percent across that same time period.
The public sector was the only industry to lose jobs over the past year. Several also added to their labor force in the most recent month, including manufacturing and wholesale trade.
Professional and business services increased by 4,200 positions, while retail trade added 3,100, marking the two largest expansions. No industry lost more than 500 positions.
Despite the continued strength of the state economy, Washington’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national figure of 3.9 percent. The state’s “U-6” rate, which measures underemployed workers and those not looking for work in addition to the actively unemployed, was 9.0 percent through the first quarter of 2018. That was above the national average but the state’s lowest in more than a decade.