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Private sector in Washington added jobs in October, while government lost jobs

This item includes a corrected number, changing the number of private jobs added during October.

Washington’s unemployment rate  rose slightly this month to 6.0 percent, despite an estimated gain of 5,600 jobs in October, according to preliminary and seasonally adjusted labor statistics from the state Employment Security Department.

State labor economist Paul Turek says the increase in the unemployment rate is is directly related to an increase in the state’s labor force, which rose by 12,200 in October.

“These numbers demonstrate increased confidence by job seekers entering or re-entering the marketplace,” Turek said. “Job growth continues to gain momentum—with the state adding roughly 7,000 jobs a month.

"But for this month, the increase in the number of new job seekers entering into the  labor market’s civilian workforce was greater than the number of new jobs added. That explains the increase in the unemployment rate.”

During the one-year period from October 2013 to October 2014 the department estimates employers added nearly 82,600 jobs statewide. This includes a gain of 66,900 69,900 private-sector and 12,700 government jobs.

Month over month, nonfarm, seasonally adjusted employment rose by 5,600 with the private sector adding 6,200 and the public sector losing 600 from September 2014 to October 2014.

Industry sectors with the largest employment gains in October were leisure and hospitality, up 2,700 jobs; retail trade, up 2,200; manufacturing up 1,500 and other services up 1,400.  Jobs in transportation, warehousing and utilities grew by 600 and the financial activities industry added 600 jobs as well.   Construction added 500 jobs. The professional and business services sector and the mining and logging sector both increased by 100 jobs each.

The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.