unemployment

The recovery from the Great Recession has crossed a milestone in Washington state.

The Washington and Oregon employment departments have closed the book on 2014 with the release of their December jobs numbers.

Washington and Oregon's latest unemployment numbers offer a paradox.

Washington Employment Security Department

Employers added more than 5,600 jobs in Washington state last month. But the statewide unemployment rate as reported by the state Wednesday rose by 0.3 points to 6 percent.

The rise in the unemployment rate is not necessarily bad news, according to state labor economist Paul Turek. He said the economic recovery has encouraged people on the sidelines to begin job searches in greater numbers than the labor market can absorb right now.

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

Nov 18, 2014
AP Images

Oregon’s unemployment rate held steady last month. That’s despite steady job growth in several industries.

Oregon added 9,900 new jobs in October. That’s the largest single month employment gain in almost 20 years.

State employment economist Nick Beleiciks says those jobs came from growth in several key industries.

“Manufacturing has added a lot of jobs during the recovery, professional business services, and healthcare and social assistance just keeps growing,” Beleiciks said.

Credit Washington Employment Security Department / Northwest News Network

Job growth stalled during September in Oregon and Washington according to new numbers from the respective state employment departments. In Washington's case, state labor economist Paul Turek is not too concerned though by one month of flat hiring.

"Put it in context of what has been happening in the labor market. We seem to be sustaining momentum. Every now and then we have a little blip," Turek said.

Turek announced Washington's unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 5.7 percent in September.

Wikimedia

Washington’s jobless rate has dropped to below 6 percent. That's the lowest level in six years. That’s according to the June jobs report released Wednesday. Seattle’s King County is leading the recovery. But most Washington counties remain above the statewide average. And some rural counties of the state are much higher.

Idaho Revamps Often-Criticized Worker Training Program

Jun 25, 2014
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

One of Idaho’s only business incentive programs is getting a facelift.

Emilie Ritter Saunders explains the nearly 20-year-old program was meant to lure businesses to the state, now, that focus is changing.

Idaho's Unemployment Rate Continues To Fall

Jun 20, 2014
Andreas Klinke Johannsen / Flickr

From April to May, the state says Idaho's unemployment rate fell from 5 percent to 4.9 percent. It marks the first time in nearly six years the jobless rate has been that low. It's the ninth straight month total employment set a record.

Andreas Klinke Johannsen / Flickr

The unemployment rate in Washington state is holding steady at 6.1 percent according to the latest numbers out Wednesday from the state Employment Security Department.