People of Northwest Public Radio
Wed March 19, 2014
Unemployment Holds Steady In Washington In Feb., Dips In Oregon
The unemployment rate in Washington state is holding steady at 6.4 percent. The Employment Department Wednesday released fresh monthly stats covering February. State labor economist Paul Turek says an economy in growth mode is luring discouraged job seekers off the sidelines and swelling the labor pool.
"The labor market was able to sufficiently absorb the new numbers that entered into the labor force in terms of providing some jobs for them. So it is positive even though the unemployment rate did not drop and stayed constant," said Turek.
Turek says Washington employers have added 15,000 jobs statewide over the past three months.
In Oregon, the unemployment rate was pegged below seven percent for the first time since 2008. New numbers released Tuesday put Oregon's jobless rate at 6.9 percent in February, down one-tenth of a point from January.
Washington state monthly employment report:
Oregon February unemployment report: