Washington added 12,800 jobs in November; unemployment rate falls to 4.7%. Employment remains below pre-Covid level.

Hiring continued to pick up last month, according to the November jobs report from the state Employment Security Department.

Washington’s economy added 12,800 jobs in November. Between October and November, the preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate fell 4.7 percent.

“A sizeable jump in household employment this month was mostly responsible for pushing down the state unemployment rate,” said the Employment Security Department’s (ESD) Economist Paul Turek. “Additionally, the increase in payroll employment in November helped offset the disappointing downward revision to October’s numbers.”

In The Seattle Times, business report Paul Roberts has more on the jobs numbers. From his report,

Washington’s November growth outpaced hiring for the United States as a whole, which saw a 62% decline, to 210,000 jobs, in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Washington was “a little bit ahead of the rest of the country,” said Jacob Vigdor, an economist with the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy who studies state and local job markets. “Although we have only 2% of the nation’s population, we accounted for over 6% of the nation’s new jobs” in November.

Washington’s unemployment rate in November was 4.7%, down from 5% in October.

Still, November’s hiring lags the strong jobs growth Washington saw between June and September, when monthly hiring averaged just over 19,000.

The state’s labor market recovery “is moving along more slowly than what had been expected,” said Paul Turek, the ESD’s state economist. Many economists had assumed that employment would return to pre-COVID levels “whenever the fears about the pandemic completely subsided,” Turek added. “Well, it hasn’t happened.”

Overall, a positive report, but the state remains short of full recovery.