Washington state added 31,900 jobs over the past year

Jobless rate fell to an estimated 9 percent in October

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian port & economy reporter

Published:

Updated: November 17, 2011, 3:58 PM

 

Employers in Washington have added a net 31,900 jobs in the past 12 months, lowering the unemployment rate in October to an estimated 9 percent, the state Employment Security Department reported Thursday.

In the private sector, employers have added 40,700 jobs since October 2010. Public sector employers, however, shed 8,800 jobs, leaving a net gain of 31,900 jobs year over year.

The 9 percent jobless rate is the lowest the state’s unemployment rate has been since March 2009.

“The October numbers showing slow, steady improvement are more consistent with what we’ve seen for more than a year,” Dave Wallace, an economist for the state Employment Security Department, said in a news release. “It looks more likely that the September numbers were an anomaly.”

The Employment Security Department originally estimated the state lost 18,400 jobs in September. It has since revised the estimate to a loss of 10,700 jobs. The unemployment rate for September has been revised from 9.1 percent to 9.2 percent.

An estimated 314,698 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in October, and 176,390 of them received $255 million in jobless benefits.

As of Nov. 5, 64,550 workers in the state had run out of all available unemployment benefits.