Washington employers added an estimated 3,300 jobs in March, marking 15 straight months of job growth.
The state’s estimated unemployment rate remained unchanged in March, matching February’s upwardly revised rate of 8.3 percent.
Officials with the state Employment Security Department were encouraged that about half of the industry sectors added jobs and only two lost jobs during the month. Industry sectors that had the most job growth in March were government; retail trade; manufacturing; financial activities; and other services. Most of the government-sector job growth was in K-12 schools and higher education, while state agencies and the federal government lost jobs.
Only two industry sectors lost jobs – education & health services, and transportation, warehousing & utilities.
Since the low point in the recession, the state has regained an estimated 94,800 jobs. Some 289-thousand people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in March.
Employment Security paid unemployment benefits to more than 189,000 people last month, down from a high of more than 350,000 in January 2010. As of April 7, 77,500 workers in Washington had run out of all unemployment benefits. About 12,500 people will lose benefits at the end of this week, mostly due to the required shutoff of extended benefits. Another 11,000 people will likely run out of benefits by mid-June. (ESD)