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Washington unemployment drops again, sort of…

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Unemployment in Washington dropped for the second month in a row to 8.9 percent, according to the Washington State Employment Situation Report. That’s an interesting statistic, because last month’s unemployment was also 8.9 percent, and by my calculations, taking into consideration the fact that I majored in English and not math, that isn’t a decrease.

As it turns out, last month’s number is an estimate, and after factoring in adjustments, the actual unemployment rate was 9.0 percent. While unemployment dropped, there were also several thousand jobs cut in the government and public sectors once again.

The report isn’t all negative. There was an overall increase in the number of people employed in Washington, not include census workers, and there are more people employed than there were a year ago. This is good news, but the small increases don’t mean much if they don’t happen month to month.

One big question remains: Where are all those government workers going to go?

Dave Wallace, the acting chief economist for Washington State Employment Security, says that although the loss of government jobs won’t continue at the current pace, it can be hard to tell where those employees will end up. “Some of them might be working part time, in which case they might not be considered unemployed. They may be close enough to retirement age, so they could exit the labor force.”

Right now it’s very hard to tell how the unemployment rate will fare over the next couple of months, but the increase in private hiring is a good sign for job hunters hoping to find employment soon.

Jump for the full report.

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Written by Wes Simons

August 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm