Jul 25, 2023 - Business

Washington's June unemployment rate tied for lowest ever

Data: BLS; Map: Axios Visuals

The June unemployment rate in Washington state hit a low not seen since before the pandemic, matching the record for lowest statewide unemployment ever.

Why it matters: The dip in the jobless rate shows that Washington's economy appears to be rebounding, despite layoffs in the tech industry announced in the past year.

Yes, but: The Seattle metro area didn't see the same employment gains year over year.

Details: Washington's June unemployment rate was 3.8%, down from 4.1% in May, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • That equates to about 11,900 jobs gained statewide over the course of the month, the state employment security department wrote in its monthly jobs report.

Flashback: The last time unemployment in Washington was this low was in February 2020, just before unemployment rose amid government-issued stay-at-home orders and mandatory shutdowns of many businesses.

  • As recently as January and February of this year, Washington's jobless rate was 4.6% — 0.8 percentage points higher than in June, according to the latest BLS data.

Zoom in: Unemployment in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area was lower than the statewide rate, but it still was up year over year, according to the state's jobs report.

  • In June, the metro area had an unemployment rate of 3%, compared to 2.6% a year earlier, per the employment security department.
  • The local unemployment rate held steady from May to June.

The big picture: Washington was one of 17 states that saw jobless rates hit new record lows or hold at a previously notched low in June, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.

  • Nevada had the highest jobless rate among U.S. states, at 5.4%, while South Dakota and New Hampshire tied for the lowest rate, at 1.8%.

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