‘Welcome surprise’: Wash. sees employment surge

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71k jobs added in June, 5.3% increase

File image (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington state added 71,000 jobs in June, marking the biggest month-to-month drop in unemployment since 1990.

The state’s Employment Security Department reported Washington’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate decreased from 15.1% in May to 9.8% in June.

The biggest shock to the state’s workforce came in April when close to 460,000 jobs were eliminated.

“The gain in nonfarm payroll employment coupled with the revision to May’s job gains are a welcome surprise and another step in the right direction,” said Paul Turek, economist for ESD. “That said, the road ahead looks to be bumpy as the virus continues to spread, creating a less predictable situation for the economy reopening.”

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 565,800 people in June, a decrease of 149,742 over the previous month.

Wash. Employment Security Dept.

Retail trade led all industries showing job gains with 19,400 jobs added. The only two sectors to report decreases in jobs were government and information.

On Tuesday, Oregon officials presented similar news by announcing the state had added back nearly one-third of the jobs lost from pandemic restrictions. Oregon’s total non-farm payroll employment rose by 56,000 jobs in June following a gain of 26,100 jobs in May.

National unemployment figures also reflected what could be the start of a turnaround. The jobless rate decreased from 13.3% in May to 11.1% in June, marking the first time since September of 2014 that the Washington state unemployment rate was lower than the national rate.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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