While the unemployment rate is widely discussed within the media, many individuals do not understand what this statistic means. First and foremost, the jobless rate is a way to measure the amount of workers who are unemployed in the work force, on a national and state level. The unemployment rate is an important economic tool to analyze and determine the economic strength of an area. By monitoring the jobless rate and seeing which business sectors are affected each month, economists and government officials can make the necessary adjustments to budget or changes to the unemployment insurance program. Some criticize that the jobless rate is not an accurate measurement of the labor force, as it factors in people abandoning their job search or retiring as a decline in overall unemployment. Despite the criticisms, the unemployment rates are still one of the most tangible ways of calculating trends within each state’s economy.
What is the unemployment rate in Washington currently? As of May 2017, the unemployment rate in Washington was at 4.5 percent, which is only slightly higher than the national average of 4.3 percent. The unemployment rate in Washington directly reflects the 80,000 jobs added within a year’s time. The private sector alone added over 66,000 jobs, while the public sector gained an estimated 14,000 jobs. This means great things for the continued decrease in the number of unemployed workers in Washington State, especially since this time last year the rate was at 5.6 percent.
While the numbers reflect economic growth in Washington, there are still many workers who remain unemployed. For those seeking temporary assistant, unemployment insurance benefits are an option. Qualified applicants may apply and provided that meet the necessary requirements, they can receive partial wage compensation while looking for new job prospects. Out-of-work residents can also take advantage of reemployment services available.