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WASHINGTON STATE UNEMPLOYMENT HIGHEST IN NEARLY FIVE YEARS

 WASHINGTON STATE UNEMPLOYMENT HIGHEST IN NEARLY FIVE YEARS
 OLYMPIA, Wash., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a percentage point in February to 7.4, the highest since May 1987, Employment Security Commissioner Vernon Stoner announced today.
 February marked the first time the state has seasonally adjusted the rate to get a clearer picture of the month-to-month movement. The comparable national rate was 7.3 percent.
 "The rate has progressively gone up as the economy slowed over the past 18 months," Stoner said. "Nearly three percentage points have been added to the jobless rate since mid-1990."
 Nonfarm wage and salary employment increased over the month by 7,300 workers. The gain reflected normal seasonal growth of the economy, particularly in services (+3,900) and government (+8,700). The start of the winter quarter at colleges and universities boosted public education employment by 5,100 and school levy elections temporarily added 3,500 workers to local government. Much of the services gain centered in education (+1,000), health services (+300) and amusements and recreation (+1,000).
 Manufacturing dropped by 1,200 jobs in February according to Dennis Fusco, chief economist for the department.
 "There was no seasonal upturn in lumber and wood products employment, and transportation equipment manufacturing pulled back by 900 workers. Roughly half was in aerospace," Fusco said.
 Smaller losses took place in printing and publishing (-100), primary metals (-200) and paper and allied products (-100). The rest of the goods-producing sectors essentially held firm. Total construction employment was basically unchanged with a gain in the building trades (+300) offset by reductions on highways and public works (-300).
 Over the year, Washington's nonfarm wage and salary employment was up 44,300 in February. Half the increase was in services (+22,000) and three-quarters of the remainder in government (+16,200). Wholesale and retail trade was up 6,300 workers and construction increased by 800. In contrast, manufacturing has lost 4,800 workers, mostly in primary metals (-700), industrial machinery (-1,400) and transportation equipment (-2,900) including aerospace.
 WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT
 LABOR MARKET AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS BRANCH
 RESIDENT LABOR FORCE AND EMPLOYMENT
 IN WASHINGTON STATE AND LABOR MARKET AREAS
 (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
 FEBRUARY 1992 PRELIMINARY /1
 Unemploy- Unemp.
 Labor Force Employment ment Rate
 Washington State Total 2,534,100 2,323,500 210,600 8.3
 Bellingham MSA 70,700 64,400 6,300 8.9
 Bremerton MSA 85,900 80,100 5,800 6.8
 Olympia MSA 88,200 81,900 6,300 7.1
 Seattle PMSA 1,129,300 1,058,500 70,800 6.3
 King County 2/ 889,500 836,300 53,200 6.0
 Snohomish County 2/ 239,900 222,200 17,700 7.4
 Spokane MSA 177,300 162,900 14,400 8.1
 Tacoma PMSA 261,400 239,800 21,600 8.3
 Tri-Cities MSA 75,200 67,300 7,900 10.5
 Benton County 2/ 57,900 52,700 5,200 9.0
 Franklin County 2/ 17,300 14,600 2,700 15.6
 Vancouver PMSA 129,900 118,500 11,400 8.8
 Yakima MSA 99,100 83,800 15,300 15.4
 Adams 7,410 5,870 1,540 20.8
 Asotin 9,680 9,040 640 6.6
 Clallam 24,640 21,920 2,720 11.0
 Columbia 1,590 1,300 290 18.2
 Cowlitz 39,310 34,740 4,570 11.6
 Ferry 3,300 2,760 540 16.4
 Garfield 980 930 50 5.1
 Grant 27,790 23,800 3,990 14.4
 Grays Harbor 26,440 22,920 3,520 13.3
 Island 22,770 21,300 1,470 6.5
 Jefferson 8,930 8,010 920 10.3
 Kittitas 13,620 11,440 2,180 16.0
 Klickitat 7,890 6,420 1,470 18.6
 Lewis 26,460 22,930 3,530 13.3
 Lincoln 4,070 3,700 370 9.1
 Mason 15,060 13,570 1,490 9.9
 Okanogan 17,600 14,740 2,860 16.3
 Pacific 8,090 7,060 1,030 12.7
 Pend Oreille 3,460 2,800 660 19.1
 San Juan 5,850 5,390 460 7.9
 Skagit 41,560 36,470 5,090 12.2
 Skamania 2,380 1,550 830 34.9
 Stevens 12,000 9,880 2,120 17.7
 Wahkiakum 1,200 1,060 140 11.7
 Walla Walla 23,320 20,810 2,510 10.8
 Wenatchee Labor Area 42,690 37,650 5,040 11.8
 Chelan County 2/ 28,650 24,960 3,690 12.9
 Douglas County 2/ 14,040 12,690 1,350 9.6
 Whitman 18,880 18,190 690 3.7
 1/ Official U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
 data
 2/ Estimates are determined by using the Population/Claims Share
 disaggregation methodology.
 Note: Detail may not add due to rounding
 -0- 3/31/92
 /CONTACT: Dennis Fusco, 206-438-4820, or John Welsh, 206-753-5216, both of the Washington State Employment Security Department/ CO: Washington State Employment Security Department ST: Washington IN: SU:


LM -- SE010 -- 3649 03/31/92 18:05 EST
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Date:Mar 31, 1992
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