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unemployment

The statewide unemployment rate for Washington is holding at its record low in the latest jobs report out Wednesday. The state's Employment Security Department pegged the jobless rate in June at 4.5 percent, the same as in May.


Washington state's above-average unemployment rate hasn't budged since last December. For July, the state’s Department of Employment Security Wednesday again pegged it at 5.8 percent.

The statewide unemployment rate in Washington is not budging despite steady hiring by employers. It's stuck at 5.8 percent in the latest monthly jobs report released Wednesday by the Washington Employment Security Department.

The unemployment rate in Washington state held steady at 5.8 percent for the fourth consecutive month in March. But in its latest jobs report out Wednesday, the state employment department reported steady hiring across most of the economy.

The U.S. economy added just 151,000 jobs in January while unemployment dropped slightly, to 4.9 percent, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economists had expected to see about 190,000 new jobs.

The unemployment rate, which has held steady at 5 percent the past few months, dropped slightly to 4.9 percent. It's the first time unemployment has fallen below 5 percent since the recession.

"Full employment" is a phrase economists use to explain how the job market recovers from a recession. We'll be hearing this phrase a lot as the Labor Department releases the latest jobs data on Friday. It's expected to show that employers added even more workers in January.

But the phrase doesn't tell the full story for millions of Americans either still out of work or who are looking for something better than part-time work.

What is full employment and what does it mean?

One month down, two to go.

For unemployed adults in 22 states, that's how long they can count on help with the grocery bills: Starting this January, they have three months to find a job or lose their food assistance.

SNAP benefits — formerly known as food stamps — have been tied to employment for two decades. Unless they are caring for children or unable to work, adults need to have a job to receive more than three months of benefits.

The state unemployment rate in Washington and Oregon was falling at a steady pace in recent years. But lately it's stuck.

Madeline Warrington ultimately found a job as a car saleswoman after leaving the military. It wasn't what she envisioned after eight years in the Army.
Courtesy of Madeline Warrington

In the Army you don’t get a job, you get an MOS – a military occupational specialty.

Sergeant Madeline Warrington was a 35M human intelligence collector. That meant that while she was in Iraq and Afghanistan, she gathered information on possible enemy threats.

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

According to the monthly update released Wednesday by Washington's Employment Security Department, the state’s unemployment rate stayed flat in February.

The U.S. economy added 295,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department's monthly survey, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent. The latest strong data beat expectations and follow a robust jump the previous month — a sign that the nation's economy is finally picking up steam.

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

If Elkhart County, Ind. was the symbol of the recession, then Ed Neufeldt became the face of the unemployed worker.

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.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

More than 24,000 Washington residents lost their federal unemployment benefits late last month. Congress let expire an emergency federal jobless program that was created in 2008 during the great recession.

One Seattle researcher has been struggling to find work since last spring. 

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