unemployment

Ross Reynolds talks with Tom Allison, policy and research manager for the Millennial advocacy group Young Invincibles, about youth employment in the United States.

The latest reading on unemployment in Washington state shows the rate holding steady in August at 5.6 percent. That's half a percentage point below the national rate according to a report from Washington's employment department Wednesday.

Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

What job are you qualified for after 12 years of public education in the U.S.?

“Not many, maybe minimum wage,” said Robert Bentley, 20, who lives on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Even as the national unemployment rate has fallen, youth unemployment remains high. The youth unemployment rate in July was over 14 percent. For black youths, it was nearly 25 percent.

The monthly jobs report is out: the economy added 209,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate ticked up just barely — from 6.1 to 6.2 percent — as more Americans started looking for work.

It’s the sixth straight month where job gains in the U.S. have topped 200,000 — a strong indication that the economy is healthy and growing.

But numbers alone only tell part of the story. Another piece: many of the high-paying jobs that were lost in the recession are being disproportionately replaced with low-paying ones.

According to the June jobs report released Wednesday, Washington’s jobless rate has dropped to 5.8 percent -- the lowest level in six years.

Ross Reynolds talks with David Johnson, CEO of Navos Mental Health Solutions, about the connections between mental illness and unemployment. A recent report found that in Washington state, 86.9 percent of people who make contact with the public health system are unemployed. That's higher than the national average of 80 percent.

Ross Reynolds speaks with Marlena Sessions, chief executive officer for Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, about how they plan to use their portion of $4 million in federal funds to help King County's long-term unemployed get back to work.

Steady job gains are chipping away at the unemployment rate in Washington state.

Washington state's unemployment rate held steady in February at 6.4 percent according to fresh numbers from the state Employment Security Department.

U.S. Legislators Show Progress In Washington, D.C.

Mar 17, 2014
Flickr Photo/Humberto Moreno (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Andrea Seabrook, founder of DecodeDC, about how the so-called lame-duck Congress may be turning over a new leaf.

Zachary Karabell's "The Leading Indicators."

David Hyde talks with Zachary Karabell, head of Global Strategy at the financial services firm Envestnet, about why we shouldn't use the unemployment rate to inform public policy.

Karabell is also the author "The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World."

Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Washington’s Employment Security Department says the state now has more people working than before the start of the Great Recession.

It's an important milestone in the recovery. And though it comes as a result of genuine progress, it received an assist from a federal benchmarking that showed the state didn’t lose as many jobs as originally thought.

New numbers for December from the Washington state employment department peg the current jobless rate at 6.6 percent. The last time it was lower was in November 2008.

Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (Cc-BY-NC-ND)

Back in May 2011, Laura was in the habit of whispering at work – even when talking about the weather. She was a manager at T-Mobile at a time when the company was suffering deep layoffs.

She was a “layoff survivor” – her colleagues were losing their jobs, workloads were shifting, and she was in fear of her own position. She declined to release her full name.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The only thing motivating Freda Crichton to finish high school was the prospect of joining the Marines with her twin sister after graduation.

Her twin got in. But Crichton didn’t.

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