For the third month in a row, Washington state unemployment didn’t budge, holding steady at 7.5 percent in February, according to preliminary jobless data released Wednesday by the state Employment Security Department.
Although unchanged, February’s jobless rate was much improved over the 8.4 percent unemployment rate in February 2012, Employment Security labor economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman told reporters during a Wednesday morning teleconference.
The state added 4,000 jobs in the January-to-February period, showing a private-sector gain of 3,600 jobs, while the public-sector added 400 jobs, Vance-Sherman said.
The statewide job growth has primarily been in King and Snohomish counties, she added.
She also pointed out that the unusually large number of jobs created in January – 24,100 jobs – actually grew by another 200 jobs once the data was revised.
Preliminary jobless date is subject to revisions.
Vance-Sherman is a regional economist for the Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom county area, but was filling in Wednesday because former chief labor economist Joe Elling has left the agency, Employment Security spokeswoman Sheryl Hutchison said.
Pierce County jobless data for February, which is not seasonally adjusted, will be released Tuesday. In January, the county jobless rate was 9.4 percent.
The national jobless rate in February was 7.7 percent.Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/bizblog