Spokane County’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in February, and officials expect the number will drop further throughout the year because of seasonal hiring.
Seasonal jobs – particularly in the construction industry – increase in the summer, contributing to a lower unemployment rate later in the year.
Last year, the annual unemployment rate in Spokane County was 5.4 percent and it’s expected to hover around that rate again this year.
The private sector is generating the majority of new jobs in the area, adding more than 6,000 in 2018.
“That seems to be continuing in the first two months of 2019, so we’re still creating jobs,” said Doug Tweedy, regional economist for the Washington Employment Security Department.
In Spokane County, the education and health services sectors saw the greatest job gains in February. The education sector added more than 500 employees, while the health services industry added 400. All told, the gains helped push the county’s jobless rate down 0.2 percentage points from January’s 6.5 percent.
Washington’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in February, according to the state’s Employment Security Department.
Statewide, education and health services, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality industries had the most job gains over February 2018, adding more than 37,800 employees combined, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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