MYNORTHWEST NEWS

ESD: Washington gained more than 15,000 jobs in February

Mar 23, 2023, 5:16 PM

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A maintenance worker sweeps near a "Join Our Team" sign posted at a restaurant which will be opening in the near future. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

While Washington’s unemployment rate remained constant at 4.6%, the state gained approximately 15,300 jobs last month, according to a monthly report from Washington state’s Employment Security Department.

The state saw the highest jumps in growth among professional and business services, education and health services, government, leisure and hospitality, and information. In contrast, retail took the biggest hit, losing approximately 1,400 jobs.

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Additionally, nearly 2,000 fewer people used unemployment insurance benefits last month compared to January, according to ESD.

“The downward slide in hiring momentum that emerged late last year has stabilized,” said Paul Turek, a state economist for the Employment Security Department (ESD), in a prepared statement. “Payroll employment growth over the fourth quarter has been revised upward, and strong job gains occurred these past two months.”

It’s a strong indicator of the strength in the economy within Washington, a state that has witnessed multiple rounds of tech layoffs from corporate giants, including Amazon and Microsoft.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced earlier this week that the company would be laying off an additional 9,000 employees, bringing the total to 27,000 this year alone.

Amazon layoffs affect additional 9,000 positions in AWS, ads, Twitch

As to why Amazon did not include this second round of layoffs in the ones announced in January, CEO Andy Jassy said that the main reason was that not every team had completed the necessary analysis of what cuts could be made.

The United States overall has a 3.6% unemployment rate, 0.2% higher than last month but 0.2% lower than February of last year.

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ESD: Washington gained more than 15,000 jobs in February