Lo sentimos. Aún no hemos traducido esta página al español. Avísenos si desea que esto sea una prioridad y traduciremos la página lo antes posible.

We're sorry. We have not yet translated this page into Spanish. Please let us know if you want us to make it a priority and we will work to translate it as soon as possible.

Solicitar traducción Request translation

Gracias, su solicitud ha sido presentada. Thank you, your request has been submitted.



Contact:   media@esd.wa.gov    

State payroll employment continues rising in October

OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy gained an estimated 5,400 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in October. Job growth was highest in the following industries: Leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, education and health services, government, transportation, warehousing and utilities. Collectively, these industries gained 10,800 jobs. Job loss was highest in the information industry, which lost 5,900 jobs.  

Washington’s monthly unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.7% to 3.8% in October.

"October’s rise in payroll employment is positive news, even as employment growth begins to moderate,” said the Employment Security Department’s (ESD) State Economist Paul Turek. “The demand for workers has been resilient. "

Visit ESD’s website to view the entire Monthly Employment Report for October.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 34,613 people in October, a decrease of 1,239 paid claims over the previous month.  Decreases in paid claims within the educational services and administrative and support services contributed to the overall decrease in paid claims over the month.

National unemployment rate
The national unemployment rate increased in October from 3.5% to a preliminary rate of 3.7%. For comparison, the national unemployment rate (revised) for October 2021 was 4.6%.

Updated preliminary data for September 2022

  • The September 2022 preliminary estimated gain of 1,500 jobs was revised upwards to a gain of 7,900 jobs.
  • The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for September was confirmed at 3.7%.

Labor force numbers edge lower

The state’s labor force in October numbered 4,008,100 – a decrease of 3,900 people from the previous month. Labor force is defined as the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force decreased by 700 over the same period.

From October 2021 to October 2022, the state’s labor force increased by 60,500, while the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 51,400.

From September to October, the number of people who were unemployed statewide increased from 149,900 to 153,700. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the number of people who were unemployed increased from 47,400 to 49,800 over the same period.

Of the industry sectors, in October:

  • Nine expanded
  • Four contracted

Private sector employment increased by 3,800 jobs while government employment increased by 1,600 jobs. The private sector and public schools have regained positions lost during the pandemic. However, state and local government jobs have been slower to rebound, with government down 18,900 jobs since February of 2020. This is likely attributable to pandemic-related service reductions and recruiting challenges. Table 2 shows a summary of the job gains and losses in all 13 industry sectors.

Leisure and hospitality industry gained the most jobs over the year

Washington gained an estimated 130,300 jobs from October 2021 – October 2022, not seasonally adjusted. Private sector employment rose by 4.1%, up an estimated 119,100 jobs, while public sector employment rose by 2%, up an estimated 11,200 jobs.

From October 2021 – October 2022, eleven major industry sectors expanded and two contracted

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year over year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

  • Leisure and hospitality, up 31,200 jobs.
  • Professional and business services, up 24,300 jobs.
  • Education and health services, up 17,700 jobs.

Table 1: Washington’s total jobs

*Revised from previous preliminary estimates. Preliminary monthly estimate for job losses
or gains are based on a small Bureau of Labor Statistics payroll survey. Actual figures
reported the following month are based on a more complete survey.

Table 2: Job gains and losses by industry

Monthly Employment Report publication schedule for 2022

Preliminary data for the month of

State and Seattle Metropolitan Division data released

All other county data released

November 2022

Dec. 14

Dec. 20

December 2022

Jan. 18, 2023

Jan. 24, 2023

Labor market information

See more labor market information and tools, including interactive Tableau graphics, to highlight popular information and data.


Employment Security is a proud partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which provides employment and training assistance to job seekers and businesses. WorkSourceWA provides access to thousands of Washington jobs and other employment resources. WorkSource staff can connect job seekers with employers hiring right now in their community, identify training opportunities or help them brush up on application and interview skills. Job seekers and employers can find their nearest WorkSource center on the WorkSource office locator page.

U-6 unemployment rate

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization” for states to include annual averages for 2021. One such alternative measure is the U-6 rate, which considers not only the unemployed population in the official “U-3” unemployment rate, but also marginally attached workers and those employed part time for economic reasons. The U-6 rate is defined by BLS as the “total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.” This U-6 measure measures the “unemployed, underemployed, and those who are not looking but who want a job.”

The U-6 unemployment rate for the four-quarter period from fourth quarter 2021 through third quarter 2022 for Washington state was 7.7 percent. This was lower compared to the 8.1 percent U-6 unemployment rate for the third quarter 2021 through second quarter 2022 period. The U.S. U-6 unemployment rate for the four-quarter period from fourth quarter 2021 through third quarter 2022 was 7.1 percent.

Web links

Find a regional economist