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WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT: STATEWIDE UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS IN MARCH

 OLYMPIA, Wash., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington's unemployment rate fell in March from 8.7 percent to 8.2 percent of the work force, Employment Security Commissioner Vernon Stoner announced Tuesday. For the first time in 26 months, the rate did not increase from the year before.
 "Although the drop in unemployment for March was substantial, we remain cautious because initial claims for unemployment insurance increased during the month," said Stoner.
 The state's seasonally adjusted rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point to 7.5 percent, the lowest in seven months and half a percent below the high of 8.0 percent in January. The national average was unchanged over the month at 7.0 percent.
 Nonfarm wage and salary employment increased by 14,000 in March, according to Dennis Fusco, chief economist for the department.
 "The change was less than the 20,000 recorded in the like period last year and the average of 23,000 in the previous five years," he added. "However, most of the difference was attributed to unseasonably dry weather in February which in essence borrowed from activity in March."
 Construction mounted by 2,600 workers mostly in masonry and stonework as the spring building season got underway. Trade employment climbed by 3,400 with much of the gain reflecting the usual seasonal buildup at eating and drinking places (+2,600). Payrolls in services expanded by 3,500.
 Manufacturing employment was basically unchanged. Losses in food processing (-600) and aircraft and parts (-600) were offset by incremental gains in most other industries. Job levels in stone, clay, and glass (+200) inched higher with the uptick in construction. Apparel (+200) moved seasonally. And employment in ship and boatbuilding (+200) jumped back to the level in December after losses in January and February. Payrolls in lumber and wood products and pulp and paper manufacturing were flat.
 Over the year, total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the state was up 27,800 workers. Services (+18,700) and trade (+9,700) have taken center stage with significant gains also in construction (+3,200) and state and local education (+4,900). Manufacturing lost 6,600 jobs over the past 12 months largely because of the realignment of workers to lower output in the aircraft and parts industry (-7,700).
 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)
 MARCH 1993 PRELIMINARY /A
 Unemploy- Unemp.
 Labor Force Employment ment Rate
 Washington State Total 2,613,700 2,400,200 213,500 8.2
 Bellingham MSA 73,500 67,300 6,200 8.4
 Bremerton MSA 87,500 81,500 6,000 6.9
 Olympia MSA 89,200 83,100 6,100 6.8
 Seattle PMSA 1,163,900 1,088,900 75,000 6.4
 King County B/ 898,100 841,800 56,300 6.3
 Snohomish County B/ 265,800 247,100 18,700 7.0
 Spokane MSA 181,700 168,300 13,400 7.4
 Tacoma PMSA 265,100 242,900 22,200 8.4
 Tri-Cities MSA 80,100 72,300 7,800 9.7
 Benton County B/ 60,200 55,500 4,700 7.8
 Franklin County B/ 19,900 16,800 3,100 15.6
 Vancouver PMSA 135,400 125,600 9,800 7.2
 Yakima MSA 106,200 89,200 17,000 16.0
 Adams 7,760 6,180 1,580 20.4
 Asotin 9,860 9,270 590 6.0
 Clallam 24,780 22,320 2,460 9.9
 Columbia 1,460 1,200 260 17.8
 Cowlitz 39,090 34,840 4,250 10.9
 Ferry 3,140 2,610 530 16.9
 Garfield 1,030 930 100 9.7
 Grant 29,660 25,130 4,530 15.3
 Grays Harbor 26,570 22,770 3,800 14.3
 Island 23,420 21,930 1,490 6.4
 Jefferson 9,430 8,610 820 8.7
 Kittitas 14,500 12,010 2,490 17.2
 Klickitat 7,920 6,470 1,450 18.3
 Lewis 27,290 24,360 2,930 10.7
 Lincoln 4,500 4,180 320 7.1
 Mason 15,400 13,860 1,540 10.0
 Okanogan 18,940 16,010 2,930 15.5
 Pacific 8,040 7,090 950 11.8
 Pend Oreille 3,760 3,170 590 15.7
 San Juan 6,230 5,700 530 8.5
 Skagit 42,590 37,550 5,040 11.8
 Skamania 2,510 1,810 700 27.9
 Stevens 12,730 10,970 1,760 13.8
 Wahkiakum 1,250 1,120 130 10.4
 Walla Walla 24,520 22,250 2,270 9.3
 Wenatchee Labor Area 44,540 39,250 5,290 11.9
 Chelan County B/ 29,390 25,660 3,730 12.7
 Douglas County B/ 15,160 13,590 1,570 10.4
 Whitman 20,150 19,490 660 3.3
 A/ Official U.S. Dept. 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- 5/4/93
 /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: ECO

LM -- SE016 -- 2131 05/04/93 18:22 EDT
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Date:May 4, 1993
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