Posts tagged: EWU
The state AP office provided Wednesday's update on April's Washington state jobless rates.
Washington state’s unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent in April, and the state added an estimated 3,800 jobs last month, according to data from the state Employment Security Department.
The March jobless rate for the state was 7.3 percent.
The state has now regained about 78 percent of the more than 200,000 jobs lost during the recession, according to ESD numbers.
The state “labor market is continuing to improve at a moderate but accelerating rate, somewhat faster than the nation,” Scott Bailey, a labor economist for Employment Security, said in a written statement.
The national unemployment rate for April was 7.5 percent.
Spokane County and other individual county unemployment rates will be reported next week.
Since April 2012, when Washington state’s unemployment rate was 8.4 percent, the state has gained a total of 67,200 jobs.
The latest figures show that economists significantly revised job loss numbers for March from an initial estimate of 5,500 down to 1,600 jobs.
Industries that saw the greatest job gains in April included retail trade, up 3,800 jobs; leisure and hospitality, up 1,600 jobs; and professional and business services, which gained 1,500 jobs.
Job losses were seen in education and health services, which lost 2,500 jobs; construction, down 1,100; and transportation, warehousing and utilities, which lost 500 jobs. Wholesale trade saw a decrease of 300 jobs.
Eastern Washington University’s “Admissions Brochure,” Shriners Hospitals for Children’s “Face Off Advertising Campaign,” and RESCUE! Pest Control Products’ “StinkBugSmackdown.com” were the big winners at the 18th Annual Spark Awards, presented last week at the Lincoln Center.
The awards are presented to area agencies and organizations by the Spokane Regional Marketing and Communications Association (Spokane MarCom).
More than 70 entries covering publications, feature stories, web design and media relations campaigns were submitted.
Top entries that received the Brightest Spark awards were:
A full list of all winners presented by Spokane Marcom is at this link.
For not the first time, the state unemployment report for Spokane left us dealing with mysteries.
The story, appearing Wednesday, reported March's county unemployment rate went down from 9.8 percent to 9.1 percent.
But, using different data from a different survey, the state also said Spokane lost 1,100 jobs. That will happen sometimes, when the two data sets move in different directions.
But the second bigger mystery involves a question about 500 positions lost in Spokane during March among the three higher ed institutions, WSU, EWU and the Community Colleges of Spokane.
We sent off a note to the WSU Spokane folks, asking if they were part of the 500 job decline.
We did get an answer, thanks to solid efforts by former newsman Doug Nadvornick.
Doug tracked down the numbers and came up with the basic response, that the state's tracking system found that WSU had lost eight “covered” positions and 23 “non-covered” positions. Essentially, around 31 jobs were eliminated or lost at WSU.
About a handful of those would have been from the transfer of the Interdisciplinary Design Program moving from Spokane to Pullman.
Which leaves the implication that the other 470 lost positions have to be from CCS and from EWU.
And that's going to be another story. Stay tuned. We'll see how this turns out.
Employment Security Department Regional Labor Economist Doug Tweedy said in the story that these numbers are preliminary, and that revised additional data in the next four weeks should clarify the picture.
We hope so, and we'll report what we get.
The retail and total sales tax number for Spokane County, for the first quarter, came out and they're at least positive. But the full story is: this is not yet a normal economy.
Data show that Spokane say retail taxes up 2.7% and total sales up 2.1% compared to the first quarter one year ago. The number are actually from November through January 2011, but since the state holds back tax receipts for two months, the data is reported as “first quarter.”
Those numbers were cited in a regular Greater Spokane Incorporated email update. The person quoted by GSI on those numbers is Grant Forsyth, an Eastern Washington University economics professor.
Forsyth's take is that the spurt in sales in the traditionally soft first quarter comes from higher gas and fuel costs. It's not something we should celebrate too loudly.
“Until we see a return to regional income growth, taxable sales will be muted,” Forsyth said.
Real income growth is the challenge, as employers and small business operators keep a tight lid on costs. It's way too soon to see a rosy tint on the economic horizon, though some numbers are improving.
GSI's “Business Barometer” also cited comments by state Labor Economist Doug Tweedy, who said “The number of people employed in Spokane County has increased for three straight quarters. Everything is recovering slowly and we are not getting the bounce that usually comes after a recession. But the economy is generating jobs in the private sector, which is a positive for the future.”