The jobless rate in Washington state continues to fall

During the most recent economic turbulence, the tech industry sometimes felt a bit insulated from the economic woes hitting the rest of the economy. But here’s some evidence that things may be improving across the board in Washington state.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent in December, the lowest point in four years. The numbers for November also were revised downward, reset at 7.7 percent.

Seattle’s unemployment rate took an even steeper decline, coming in at 6.5 percent for the month.

But while on the surface that may be something to celebrate, it’s not all good news, warns said Joe Elling, chief labor economist for Employment Security Department.

“Our population is growing and we’ve regained more than half of the jobs lost during the recession, but the number of people in the labor force has been declining,” said Elling. “When the labor force shrinks, it artificially lowers the unemployment rate.”

The information category, where a number of tech jobs are classified, was flat in terms of job growth during December. That comes even as companies such as Concur, Apptio, Tableau and Amazon continue to hire at a brisk pace.

In addition, there’s still a lot of room for the state to regain the 205,000 jobs lost during the recession. In the past three years, the state has recovered about 115,000 jobs.

Full report here.

Comments

  • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

    Sorry not trolling at all: I’m not really clear what the “clouds on the horizon” are? I see the point that numbers can be skewed by people leaving the labor force (presumably out of desperation). But I read “clouds” to mean something bad is coming. So, naturally I’m wondering what that might be.

    Thanks!

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