Washington state seasonally-adjusted unemployment continues to rise, increasing to a preliminary 8.6 percent jobless rate in August from 8.5 percent in July and 8.3 percent in June, according to data released Wednesday by the state Employment Security Department.
The state shed 1,100 jobs in the July-to-August period, pulled lower by job losses in the wholesale trade and leisure and hospitality sectors. Wholesale trade shed 2,600 jobs, followed by 2,300 jobs shed in the leisure and hospitality sector.
Manufacturing added 1,500 jobs in the period, but the bright spot was in construction, an industry sector that has struggled to create jobs due to the downturn in housing. Construction added 1,900 jobs in the July-to-August period; since August 2011, construction has added 3,900 jobs, the data show.
Other industry sectors that added jobs last month included financial activities, education and health services, and government with a net gain of 300 jobs. Although federal employment added 1,800 jobs within the government category, state agencies, public higher education and local government all shed jobs. Five hundred jobs were added in K-12 schools. Pierce County unemployment for August, which is not seasonally adjusted, will be released Tuesday. In July, Pierce County’s jobless rate was 9 percent.
The national unemployment rate in August was 8.1 percent.