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Aug. 1, 2021

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Washington unemployment rate dipped to 5.3% in May

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OLYMPIA — Washington’s unemployment rate dipped slightly to 5.3 % last month, and the state added 8,300 jobs, officials announced Wednesday.

The Employment Security Department said that May’s rate was down slightly from April’s revised 5.4% rate.

Private sector employment increased by 7,000 jobs and government employment increased by 1,300 jobs. Leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and government saw the largest gains, and construction, retail trade and manufacturing saw were among a handful of sectors that saw a downswing.

Two different surveys are used to calculate unemployment figures and job losses and gains. The unemployment rate represents the percentage of the labor force that’s unemployed and actively looking for work. People who quit looking for work are not counted. The job gains and losses estimates are based on a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of businesses.

The national unemployment rate decreased from 6.1% in April to 5.8% in May.

“The demand for labor is strong and more job seekers are coming back into the labor force” Paul Turek, economist for the department, said in a written statement. “The employment gain in May is another step towards recovering the jobs lost in 2020.”

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