OLYMPIA – Washington’s employment picture improved again in October, with the private sector adding an estimated 9,600 jobs, seasonally adjusted.
When combined with an estimated loss of 2,900 government jobs, the state netted an estimated 6,700 jobs last month.
At the same time, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 8.5 percent in September to a preliminary estimate of 8.2 percent in October.
Last month’s numbers may be revised as more data come in, but “the overall direction is positive,” said Joe Elling, chief labor economist for Employment Security.
Industries with the most estimated job gains in October were retail trade, which added 3,300 jobs; professional and business services, up 1,900; financial activities, up 1,800; construction, up 1,400; manufacturing, up 1,400; education and health services, up 1,100; and transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 600 jobs.
Industries with job losses last month included government, down 2,900 jobs; leisure and hospitality, down 1,700 jobs; and wholesale trade, down 500 jobs.
Elling noted that the manufacturing industry, especially in aerospace, has had strong job growth since the end of the recession.
Out of the roughly 41,000 manufacturing jobs that were lost during the recession, about 4,800 of them were in aerospace. Since the low point of the recession in February 2010, Washington’s manufacturing industry has posted a net gain of about 31,000 jobs, with more than half (16,300) of them in aerospace.
Across all sectors, Washington’s seasonally adjusted employment has grown by about 124,000 jobs, out of a recession loss of about 205,000 jobs.
In October, an estimated 286,000 people (seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. That includes 124,682 who claimed unemployment benefits last month.
Also in October, 3,589 unemployed workers ran out of unemployment benefits, bringing the total to 115,947 since extended benefits were activated in July 2008.