Washington's job situation showed an unexpectedly good gain of roughly 11,000 jobs in January, the state Employment Security Department said today. ESD called it the "largest monthly gain since November 2007."
The report offers what appears to be an unexpected sliver of good news for legislative budget writers who are bracing for another downward revision in state revenues. The next revenue forecast is March 17, after which budget proposals should roll out quickly.
Overall, the job gains were enough to push down the state's seasonably adjusted jobless rate to 9.1 percent, down from 9.3 percent in January. But it remains a tick above the 9 percent national rate. Local county-by-county data won't be released until March 8.
But links to county-by-county data for previous months showed the greater-Olympia area's preliminary unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in December, up slightly from 7.5 percent the month before, and the Tacoma-metropolitan area's rate was 9.2 percent in December, up from 9.1 percent in November.
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Overall, private employment in the state rose by 11,600 positions in January, tempered by the loss of 600 jobs in the public sector. The figures were reported on a seasonably adjusted basis.
ESD said in its announcement: