SPOKANE, Wash. — The Washington state unemployment rate hit the lowest point in more than a decade in July, despite the state’s working population growing by more than 30,000 people since July 2017.
The Washington Employment Security Department’s Monthly Employment Report showed Washington gained about 12,400 jobs in July 2018. According to the report, that amounts to 11,900 more jobs in the private sector and 500 more jobs in the public sector.
Since employer demand continues to outpace growth in the working population, the unemployment rate went from 4.8 percent in July 2017 to 4.6 percent in July 2018, according to the report. Trends in unemployment show a downward trend. Between June and July 2018 alone, the unemployment rate went from 4.7 percent to 4.6 percent.
When broken down by county though, Eastern Washington is not doing as well. Most counties still follow the downward trend but most exceed the state’s unemployment rate.
Spokane County went from 5.2 percent unemployment in July 2017 to 5 percent unemployment in July 2018.
Pend Oreille County went from 6.7 percent in July 2017 to 6.6 percent in July 2018.
Stevens County saw no change in their rate of unemployment.
Lincoln County’s unemployment rate actually rose from 4.3 percent in July 2017 to 4.5 percent in July 2018.
Whitman County saw a huge jump from 5.2 percent unemployment in July 2017 to 4.9 percent in July 2018.
Ferry County’s unemployment rate also increased from 9.5 percent in July 2017 to 10.3 percent in July 2018.
And Adams County’s unemployment also rose from 4.2 percent in July 2017 to 4.3 percent in July 2018.
The state’s total count of unemployed people is down by 4,000 from a year ago to 173,600.
Washington State followed the downward trend seen in the U.S. as a whole. As of July 2017, the country had an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent and in July 2018 unemployment fell to 3.9 percent, according to the report.