How many commuters were potentially affected by the SR-530 slide?

The March 22 landslide across SR-530 effectively cut the communities of Oso, Darrington and Swede Haven off from the rest of Snohomish County. Many people who live on one side of the now-closed SR-530 and work on the other side now face substantially increased commutes via alternative routes.

To understand the extent to which the community was affected, it is helpful to know how many people use SR-530 for work-related commutes.

Continue reading

When is a flat unemployment rate good news?

On March 19, we announced that Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was unchanged from January, at 6.4 percent, while jobs grew by an estimated 2,500.

In assessing the report, our labor economist said, “That’s a positive sign. The economy is holding its own.” Many people may wonder why it’s a good sign that the unemployment rate didn’t get better.
Continue reading

Washington state “grape power”

Did you know that Washington’s grape production is second only to California?

There are two origins of the state’s grape and wine industry. The earliest history of Washington wine starts with 1825 plantings of the first grape vines in Fort Vancouver, by trade workers from Hudson’s Bay Company. The second origin of started in the 1860s and 1870s, when immigrants from Germany and Italy settled in the Walla Walla area and started larger grape and wine productions.

Continue reading

Recession and recovery: employment effects by age and gender

One of the most significant innovations in labor market information of the past two decades has been the development of the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) database, a joint venture of the Census Bureau and the states. LED tracks employment by age and gender for all jobs covered by unemployment insurance, with the exception of federal workers. LED employment closely aligns with Employment Security’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data series.

Recession and recovery: Employment by age and gender.

Recession and recovery: Employment by age and gender.

We can use LED to analyze what happened to employment by age and gender in the recent recession and recovery. The chart below looks at these changes over a five-year period, including the two years of employment decline and the first three years of the recovery.

Continue reading