“Although payroll job growth continued in July, the pace at which the jobs were added slowed,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Over the last three months, nearly half of the jobs lost during the pandemic have come back, but there remains a long way to go.”
ESD released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.
The department also announced that June’s previously reported unemployment rate of 9.8 percent was revised upward to 10.0 percent. June’s preliminary estimated gain of 71,000 jobs was revised to a gain of 140,600 jobs.
The national unemployment rate decreased from 11.1% percent in June 2020 to 10.2 percent in July 2020. In July 2019, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 3.7 percent.
ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 590,401 people in July, an increase of 24,601 over the previous month.
More employed and unemployed workers enter the state labor force
The state’s labor force in July was 3,968,200 – an increase of 75,000 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force decreased by 2,200 over the same period.
From July 2019 through July 2020, the state’s labor force grew by 48,500 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region decreased by 15,000.
The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.
From June 2020 to July 2020, the number of people who were unemployed statewide increased from 389,800 to 408,000. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed decreased from 166,300 to 142,800 over the same period.
Nine industry sectors expanded and four sectors contracted in July
Private sector employment increased by 37,000 jobs while government employment increased by 7,500 jobs. Provided below is a summary of the job gains and losses in all thirteen industry sectors.
- Leisure and hospitality down 103,300 jobs
- Government down 32,400 jobs
- Education and health services down 24,400 jobs
Note: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization” for states to include annual averages for the first quarter of 2020. One such alternative measure is the U-6 rate, which considers not only the unemployed population in the official “U-3” unemployment rate but also marginally attached workers and those employed part-time for economic reasons. The U-6 rate is defined by BLS as the “total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part-time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.” This U-6 measure measures the “unemployed, underemployed, and those who are not looking but who want a job.”
The U-6 unemployment rate for the second quarter of 2020 for Washington state was 10.9 percent. This was higher compared to the 7.7 percent U-6 unemployment rate one quarter prior. The annual U.S. U-6 unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in the second quarter of 2020.