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WASHINGTON STATE JOBLESS RATE DROPS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT MONTH

 WASHINGTON STATE JOBLESS RATE DROPS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT MONTH
 OLYMPIA, Wash., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped for the second straight month in May as it fell to 6.7 percent, a slight one-tenth of a percentage point below the rate for April, the Washington State Employment Security Department said today. The gap between the state and the national rate widened in May as the national rate rose by three-tenths of a percentage point to 7.5 percent in May.
 The consecutive reductions in the unemployment rate in April and May followed two years of steady increases. The rate peaked in March at 7.8 percent and then fell sharply in April and fractionally in May to the lowest in six months.
 "The stop-and-start national economy remains worrisome and we're still looking for some solid, broadbased employment gains both here and nationally," said Employment Security Commissioner Vernon E. Stoner. "But the drop in the unemployment rate in Washington the past two months is certainly a positive sign."
 The state's major metropolitan areas showed seasonal declines in the unemployment rate. The rate for Seattle dropped from 5.6 percent in April to 5.5 percent in May, not adjusted for seasonal differences. In Spokane the rate fell from 6.1 percent to 5.6 percent, Tacoma from 7.2 to 6.9, Vancouver from 7.3 to 6.9, Olympia 6.3 to 5.8, Bremerton from 5.9 to 5.5, Bellingham from 7.1 to 6.5, the Tri-Cities from 7.0 to 6.4 and Yakima from 12.0 to 10.1.
 "The May improvement was due to a gradually improving economy and unseasonally mild weather, which has spurred outdoor activity," said Chief Economist Dennis Fusco.
 Nonfarm wage and salary employment rose in May by 17,000 workers. The uptick was purely seasonal except for a 3,500-worker blip in government caused by one-day staffing for the state's first Presidential primary. Both construction (+3,800) and trade (+4,600) added significant numbers of workers over the month with lesser job gains posted in services (+1,500). Those sectors associated with tourism stood out in the improvements. Losses came in finance and personal and management services, the latter reflecting an end to federal income tax preparation and more permanent long-range reductions from firm closures or cutbacks in general merchandising, pulp and paper manufacturing and aerospace.
 Washington's nonfarm wage and salary employment count in May stood 18,500 workers higher than a year earlier. Manufacturing was off by 5,000, largely concentrated in aerospace (-3,300) and shipbuilding (-1,300). Lumber and wood products was lower by 400. Construction (+200) has proven basically flat over the year with losses in wholesale and retail trade (-2,200) offset by continued growth in services (+13,400) and government (+11,900).
 Washington State Employment Security Department
 Labor Market and Economic Analysis Branch
 RESIDENT LABOR FORCE AND EMPLOYMENT
 IN WASHINGTON STATE AND LABOR FORCE MARKET AREAS
 (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
 MAY 1992 PRELIMINARY /A
 Unemploy- Unemp.
 Labor Force Employment ment Rate
 Washington State Total 2,620,100 2,450,700 169,400 6.5
 Bellingham MSA 73,400 68,600 4,800 6.5
 Bremerton MSA 89,200 84,300 4,900 5.5
 Olympia MSA 91,100 85,800 5,300 5.8
 Seattle PMSA 1,155,600 1,092,500 63,100 5.5
 King County B/ 911,200 863,100 48,100 5.3
 Snohomish County B/ 244,300 229,300 15,000 6.1
 Spokane MSA 184,300 173,900 10,400 5.6
 Tacoma PMSA 266,900 248,500 18,400 6.9
 Tri-Cities MSA 83,800 78,400 5,400 6.4
 Benton County B/ 65,200 61,300 3,900 6.0
 Franklin County B/ 18,500 17,000 1,500 8.1
 Vancouver PMSA 133,600 124,400 9,200 6.9
 Yakima MSA 105,900 95,200 10,700 10.1
 Adams 7,930 7,110 820 10.3
 Asotin 10,180 9,690 490 4.8
 Clallam 25,730 23,900 1,830 7.1
 Columbia 2,340 2,210 130 5.6
 Cowlitz 39,720 36,030 3,690 9.3
 Ferry 3,330 3,020 310 9.3
 Garfield 1,060 1,030 30 2.8
 Grant 31,020 28,300 2,720 8.8
 Grays Harbor 27,060 24,120 2,940 10.9
 Island 23,700 22,390 1,310 5.5
 Jefferson 9,550 8,840 710 7.4
 Kittitas 13,610 11,910 1,700 12.5
 Klickitat 8,340 7,310 1,030 12.4
 Lewis 26,920 24,390 2,530 9.4
 Lincoln 4,400 4,200 200 4.5
 Mason 15,600 14,410 1,190 7.6
 Okanogan 18,720 16,700 2,020 10.8
 Pacific 8,610 7,840 770 8.9
 Pend Oreille 3,600 3,170 430 11.9
 San Juan 7,240 6,930 310 4.3
 Skagit 43,350 39,620 3,730 8.6
 Skamania 2,320 1,750 570 24.6
 Stevens 12,430 10,900 1,530 12.3
 Wahkiakum 1,250 1,120 130 10.4
 Walla Walla 24,530 23,430 1,100 4.5
 Wenatchee Labor Area 44,350 39,920 4,430 10.0
 Chelan County B/ 29,660 26,460 3,200 10.8
 Douglas County B/ 14,670 13,450 1,220 8.3
 Whitman 19,620 19,020 600 3.1
 A/ Official U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
 data.
 B/ Estimates are determined by using the Population/Claims Share
 disaggregation methodology.
 Note: Detail may not add due to rounding.
 -0- 6/30/92
 /CONTACT: Dennis Fusco, 206-438-4820, or Michael Wilson, 206-753-5216, both of the Washington State Employment Security Department/ CO: Washington State Employment Security Department ST: Washington IN: SU:


LM -- SE011 -- 5394 06/30/92 18:01 EDT
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Date:Jun 30, 1992
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