Employment outlook improves as Washington state gains jobs in May – Puget Sound Business Journal

Washington state gained 11,700 jobs in May as the economic picture continued to brighten, according to the state Employment Security Department.

The unemployment rate in the state rose slightly, from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent, but Employment Security economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said that was due primarily to more out-of-work people starting to look for jobs who had not been before. Unemployed people who stop seeking jobs are not counted in the statistics.

“In this case, the higher unemployment rate could be a sign that people are feeling more optimistic about their chances of finding a job,” Vance-Sherman said in a statement.

In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area, which gained 6,400 jobs, the unemployment rate stayed steady at 7.1 percent.

Statewide, nearly half of the estimated job growth in May came from professional and business services, with much of it in the employment-services industry. Vance-Sherman said that businesses often turn first to temp agencies when they’re ready to start hiring again.

Statewide, industries that gained the most jobs in May were professional and business services, up by 5,400 jobs; transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 2,600; wholesale trade, up 1,900; manufacturing, up 1,400; construction, up 1,200; financial activities, up 1,000; retail trade, up 400; and education & health services, up 400.

Government lost an estimated 2,600 jobs in May; leisure and hospitality lost 200, and the information sector lost an estimated 100 jobs.

via Employment outlook improves as Washington state gains jobs in May – Puget Sound Business Journal.

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