Wash. Unemployment Inches Up, But Construction Shows Signs Of Life

Sep 19, 2012

Washington’s idled construction industry continued to show signs of life in August. Nonetheless, the state’s jobless rate still rose slightly. Overall Washington lost 1,100 jobs last month. The new unemployment rate announced Wednesday is 8.6 percent -– up a tenth of a percent from July.

Construction was one of the bright spots. That hard-hit sector added nearly 2,000 jobs in August. But chief labor economist Joe Elling says construction is still digging out of a deep hole.

Elling: “So we have a long ways to go in terms of getting construction back up to obviously a more healthy level.”

Construction employment in Washington is off about 60,000 jobs since a peak in 2007, at the height of the housing bubble. Last month in Washington, more than 300,000 people were still looking for work.

The number of workers who have run out of unemployment benefits is approaching 110,000.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

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