Unemployment stubbornly high due to slow private sector job growth and loss of government jobs

Since June 2010, over 42,000 jobs have been added to Washington’s economy. The gains are primarily in the private sector, while government keeps shedding jobs due to severe budget cuts.

  • In June 2011, the unemployment rate in Washington rose slightly to 9.2 percent, the same as the national rate. The rate for the Seattle metropolitan area increased slightly from 8.7 percent to 8.8 percent. Seattle regional unemployment has remained consistently below national and state levels since the beginning of the recession, although still high by historical standards.
  • After four months of persistent decline, the unemployment rate in King County rose slightly between May and June, from 7.9 percent to 8.0 percent. Almost 9,000 more people in King County were looking for work in June compared to May.