Just 100 Jobs Added in November

Washington’s economy added 100 jobs in November and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for November remained the same as it was in October at 6.0 percent according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

MonthTotal Jobs (losses or gains)Unemployment rate2019 Unemployment Rate
March 2020–  27,9005.1 percent4.5 percent
April 2020– 259,500*16.3 percent*4.4 percent
May 2020– 44,900*15.1 percent4.4 percent
June 2020+ 53,100*10.0 percent*4.3 percent
July 2020+ 62,400 10.2 percent*4.2 percent
August 2020+ 50,100*  8.4 percent*4.2 percent
September 2020+ 9,300  8.3 percent*4.1 percent
October 2020+22,800*  6.0 percent4.0 percent
November 2020+     100   6.0 percent4.0 percent
*Revised from previous preliminary estimates. Preliminary monthly estimates for jobs losses or gains are based on a small BLS payroll survey while actual figures reported the following month are based on a more complete survey.

“The government sector job losses almost completely counteracted private sector job gains in November,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “However, the rate of improvement in private employment has slowed, and the latest round of COVID restrictions creates the potential for payrolls to decline next month.”

ESD released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

The department also announced that October’s previously reported unemployment rate of 6.0 percent was confirmed at 6.0 percent. October’s preliminary estimated gain of 1,000 jobs was revised to a gain of 22,800 jobs.

The national unemployment rate decreased from 6.9 percent in October to 6.7 percent in November 2020. In November 2019, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 3.5 percent.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 400,291 people in November, a decrease of 53,507 over the previous month.

State labor force shrinks back

The state’s labor force in November was 3,839,900– a decrease of 155,400 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force decreased by 6,900 over the same period.

From November 2019 through November 2020, the state’s labor force decreased by 106,600 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region decreased by 48,200.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

From October 2020 to November 2020, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased from 237,800 to 229,500. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed decreased from 82,400 to 75,600 over the same period.

Six industry sectors expanded, six sectors contracted, and one was unchanged in November

Private sector employment increased by 2,600 jobs while government employment decreased by 2,500 jobs. Provided below is a summary of the job gains and losses in all thirteen industry sectors.

Industry sector                                      Job gains/losses

Professional & business services+  6,000
Other services+     800
Financial activities+     700
Transportation, warehousing & utilities+      500
Construction+      200
Education and health services+      100
Mining and logging             0
Information–        300
Retail trade–        600
Wholesale trade–     1,000
Manufacturing–     1,500
Leisure & hospitality–     2,300
Government–     2,500

The leisure and hospitality industry continues to be hardest hit with payroll job losses year-over-year

Washington lost an estimated 170,300 jobs from November 2019 through November 2020, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment fell by 4.4 percent, down an estimated 127,200 jobs, while public sector employment fell by 7.2 percent with a net loss of 43,100 jobs.

From November 2019 through November 2020, nine major industry sectors contracted while four industry sectors expanded.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment losses year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

  • Leisure and hospitality down 71,200 jobs
  • Government down 43,100 jobs
  • Manufacturing down 25,500 jobs