WorkSource Spokane adapts after the Great Recession

WorkSource Spokane staffing levels and office space are both stable after recent downsizing of both, said Journal of Business reporter Linn Parish in a July 16 story.

As the unemployment rate in Spokane County — currently at 6.3 percent — continues its decline after the Great Recession, the mix of customers also has changed in the last five years, Parish reported after an interview with WorkSource Spokane Administrator Michelle Sanchez.

“Sanchez says that in 2010, WorkSource Spokane assisted 27,000 job seekers and 6,000 potential employers. So far this year, the agency has helped about 5,000 people looking for work and 14,500 employers,” wrote Parish.

Read the entire story in the Spokane Journal of Business.

Labor area summary for Benton and Franklin counties – May 2015

By Ajsa Suljic, Employment Security’s labor economist covering Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties

Each month, the Employment Security Department releases statewide and county employment and unemployment data for the previous month. Find more labor-market data and analysis on the Employment Security website.

In the Kennewick-Pasco-Richland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which equals Benton and Franklin counties, May’s preliminary numbers show growth in nonfarm employment reached 107,200 jobs, up by 1.0 percent from April and up by 3.0 percent from the same time last year.

The unemployment rate was at 6.7, which is up from the revised 6.5 percent in April. The Benton County rate was 6.6 percent and the Franklin County rate was 7.2 percent.The major driver of the rate increase was growth in the labor force 1.9 percent, or 2,400 workers.  Monthly nonfarm job gains were recorded in many industries, including construction, transportation and utilities, educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, and state and local government.

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Labor area summary for Chelan and Douglas counties – May 2015

By Donald Meseck, Employment Security’s labor economist for Yakima, Kittitas, Grant, Douglas, Chelan, Adams and Okanogan counties

Each month, the Employment Security Department releases statewide and county employment and unemployment data for the previous month. Find more labor-market data and analysis on the Employment Security website.

This report provides an update on the Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area (Chelan and Douglas counties) economy incorporating not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm employment and civilian labor force data. Analysis focuses on year-over-year (between May 2014 and May 2015) and average annual (between 2013 and 2014) changes in the labor market.

Unemployment rates
Preliminary labor force data show that Washington state’s average annual not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased eight-tenths of a percentage point between 2013 and 2014, from 7.0 percent to 6.2 percent. Between the Mays of 2014 and 2015 the rate declined seven-tenths of a point, from 6.0 to 5.3 percent.

In Chelan and Douglas counties, the annual average unemployment rate fell from 7.5 to 6.6 percent between 2013 and 2014, a nine-tenths percentage point drop. The rate decreased one and two-tenths percentage points this May to 6.2 percent from the 7.4 percent reading in May 2014 (see Figure 1) as the number of unemployed residents contracted and the labor force expanded (see Figure 3).

 

Chelan and Douglas counties unemployment rates

Figure 1: The unemployment rate in Chelan and Douglas counties decreased one and two-tenths percentage points between May 2014 and May 2015.

 

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Labor area summary for Yakima County – May 2015

By Donald Meseck, Employment Security’s labor economist for Yakima, Kittitas, Grant, Douglas, Chelan, Adams and Okanogan counties

Each month, the Employment Security Department releases statewide and county employment and unemployment data for the previous month.


Unemployment rates

Preliminary labor force data show that Washington state’s average annual not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased eight-tenths of a percentage point between 2013 and 2014, from 7.0 percent to 6.2 percent. Between the Mays of 2014 and 2015, the rate declined seven-tenths of a point, from 6.0 to 5.3 percent.

In Yakima County, benchmarked data indicate that the average annual unemployment rate decreased one percentage point between 2013 and 2014, from 9.9 to 8.9 percent. The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined nine-tenths of a point in May 2015 to 8.0 percent, from 8.9 percent in May 2014 (as shown in Figure 1).

Yakima County unemployment rates

Figure 1: Yakima County’s unemployment rate decreased nine-tenths of a percentage point between May 2014 and May 2015.

Total nonfarm employment
Between 2013 and 2014, Washington’s labor market provided 82,900 new nonfarm jobs, an annual average increase of 2.8 percent. This May, businesses and government organizations across Washington supplied 3,179,000 nonfarm jobs (not seasonally adjusted), compared to 3,067,500 jobs in May 2014, a 3.6 percent year-over-year employment increase. The state’s economy has posted nonfarm employment increases for the past 56 consecutive months (October 2010 through May 2015). Continue reading

New agency website launches

By Ann Hartman, Communications Office

Employment Security launched a redesigned, rewritten and refreshed agency website on June 30, giving job seekers, employers and unemployment claimants better access to – and a better understanding of – the resources they need.

After more than a year in development, the new esd.wa.gov improves on the old site in many ways, said Scott Peterson, multi-media and Web manager in the Communications Office. First, the website uses what’s called a responsive design, meaning it looks good and works well on personal computers as well as tablets, smart phones and other mobile equipment.

“Many of our customers are using mobile devices, so it’s really exciting that our site will function well for them,” said Peterson.

Second, the new website uses a persona-based layout, designed from the perspective of sample users (personas). The home page of the old site offered only two main categories: unemployment and employers, Peterson explained. Those choices didn’t adequately reflect the agency’s varied customers – job seekers, unemployment claimants, tax payers and business owners – who often fit into more than one of those categories at a time.

Home page of the new esd.wa.gov

The new agency website home page calls out categories designed for Employment Security’s main user groups. The old site had only two categories: unemployment and employers. The new home page also highlights easy-to-find links to commonly used applications.

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