Unemployment down, jobs up in September | Employment Security Department

Washington’s unemployment rate headed back down in September, while the number of jobs continued to climb, according to the state Employment Security Department.

The estimated unemployment rate was 8.5 percent, down from an estimate of 8.6 percent in August. At the same time, jobs grew by an estimated 1,200 in September.

The initially estimated loss of 1,100 jobs in August has been revised to a gain of 2,500.

“The revision to the August job numbers shows why it’s risky to place too much importance on preliminary estimates, or on one month of numbers,” said Joe Elling, chief labor economist for Employment Security. “The trend over the past 31 months shows an increasing rate of job growth.”

As an example, in January through September of 2011, 31,600 jobs were added in Washington, while an estimated 52,300 jobs have been added in the first nine months of 2012.

Industries with the most estimated job gains in September were leisure and hospitality, up 3,900 jobs, and government, with a gain of 2,700.  Most of the government job gains were in education, while employment in state agencies dropped by another 1,000.

Industries with seasonally adjusted job losses included manufacturing, down 1,300; retail trade, down 1,100; other services, down 900; transportation, warehousing and utilities, down 900; wholesale trade, down 900; and financial activities, with a loss of 500 jobs.

In September, an estimated 296,000 people (seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. That includes 126,080 who claimed unemployment benefits last month.

Also in September, 3,223 unemployed workers ran out of unemployment benefits, bringing the total to 111,892 since extended benefits were activated in July 2008.

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