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WASHINGTON STATE UNEMPLOYMENT HOLDS AT A SIX-YEAR HIGH, WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT SAYS

 OLYMPIA, Wash., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Unemployment in Washington edged up from 7.8 percent to 8.0 percent in December -- the highest rate for the month in six years, Employment Security Commissioner Vernon E. Stoner announced Tuesday.
 "A slow economy coupled with seasonal cutbacks in construction, food processing and other weather-related industries contributed to the uptick," said Stoner. "Nonetheless, the jobless change for the month was fairly normal for this time of year."
 When the rate is adjusted to take account of seasonal impacts, such as weather, elections and school openings and closures, it held steady for the second month at 7.9 percent. The seasonally adjusted national rate was 7.3 percent in December.
 Nonfarm payroll employment fell in December by 9,900 workers. Fairly typical losses occurred in construction (-3,300), food processing (-2,200), and state and local government (-7,400). Jobs in the public sector reflected downtime of colleges and universities operating on a quarter system and removal from the payrolls of temporary election workers a month before. Plant closures in pulp and paper (-700) and additional retrenchment in aerospace (-300) also contributed. Services employment was basically flat. But Christmas hiring boosted retail trade by 5,300, the strongest December gain in retailing in three years.
 Dennis Fusco, chief economist for the department, noted that based on preliminary data the state's unemployment rate for the year as a whole averaged 7.2 percent. This was up nearly a full percentage point from a year before but lower than the 7.4 percent rate posted for the nation as a whole.
 "Both the beginning and the end of the year saw statewide joblessness jump above the national average for the first time since mid-1990," Fusco said. "However, the seasonally adjusted rate dropped back and held steady through the second and third quarters, giving a somewhat U-shape to the unemployment pattern for the year."
 Compared to a year ago, nonfarm employment increased by 20,800. The comparable gain for 1991 was 17,300. Significant growth over the year has come in services (+15,600), trade (+8,100), and government (+6,800) at a time when manufacturing (-9,200) has repeatedly lost ground. Much of the loss is centered in aerospace (-7,500) and shipbuilding (-1,600).
 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)
 DECEMBER 1992 PRELIMINARY /A
 Unemploy- Unemp.
 Labor Force Employment ment Rate
 Washington State Total 2,561,400 2,356,600 204,800 8.0
 Bellingham MSA 73,600 67,900 5,700 7.7
 Bremerton MSA 87,000 81,300 5,700 6.6
 Olympia MSA 89,300 83,000 6,300 7.1
 Seattle PMSA 1,132,000 1,060,300 71,700 6.3
 King County B/ 891,700 837,700 54,000 6.1
 Snohomish County B/ 240,300 222,600 17,700 7.4
 Spokane MSA 183,800 171,000 12,800 7.0
 Tacoma PMSA 265,500 244,900 20,600 7.8
 Tri-Cities MSA 76,100 68,200 7,900 10.4
 Benton County B/ 58,400 53,400 5,000 8.6
 Franklin County B/ 17,700 14,800 2,900 16.4
 Vancouver PMSA 132,200 122,400 9,800 7.4
 Yakima MSA 100,600 84,000 16,600 16.5
 Adams 7,410 5,800 1,610 21.7
 Asotin 9,980 9,420 560 5.6
 Clallam 24,400 21,880 2,520 10.3
 Columbia 1,380 1,150 230 16.7
 Cowlitz 38,880 34,700 4,180 10.8
 Ferry 3,120 2,760 360 11.5
 Garfield 980 900 80 8.2
 Grant 27,500 23,760 3,740 13.6
 Grays Harbor 26,910 23,130 3,780 14.0
 Island 23,360 21,900 1,460 6.3
 Jefferson 9,110 8,280 830 9.1
 Kittitas 13,590 11,460 2,130 15.7
 Klickitat 8,160 6,870 1,290 15.8
 Lewis 27,470 24,330 3,140 11.4
 Lincoln 4,150 3,820 330 8.0
 Mason 15,060 13,610 1,450 9.6
 Okanogan 17,500 14,540 2,960 16.9
 Pacific 8,250 7,390 860 10.4
 Pend Oreille 3,700 3,170 530 14.3
 San Juan 6,160 5,710 450 7.3
 Skagit 41,580 36,860 4,720 11.4
 Skamania 2,370 1,740 630 26.6
 Stevens 12,370 10,840 1,530 12.4
 Wahkiakum 1,170 1,020 150 12.8
 Walla Walla 22,900 20,770 2,130 9.3
 Wenatchee Labor Area 43,940 38,630 5,310 12.1
 Chelan County B/ 29,450 25,610 3,840 13.0
 Douglas County B/ 14,490 13,020 1,470 10.1
 Whitman 19,710 19,060 650 3.3
 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- 2/2/93
 /CONTACT: Dennis Fusco, 206-438-4820, or Michael Wilson, 206-753-5216, Washington State Employment Security Department/


CO: Washington State Employment Security Department ST: Washington IN: SU: ECO

LM -- SE015 -- 2130 02/02/93 18:04 EST
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