Follow us:

Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

July 8, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Digging deeper into 2009 data shows continued job losses in Northwest

King County saw employment drop 4.7 percent from December 2008 to December 2009, according to new data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was one of the 325 out of 334 largest counties nationally to see a drop. In Pierce County the decline was 3.4 percent, while Snohomish County fell 5.2 percent.

In Oregon, Multnomah County employment declined 4.9 percent while Clackamas fell 5.3 percent. The U.S. average was 4.1 percent. Some Rust Belt counties saw losses of more than 8 percent.

This is looking in the rear-view mirror, of course. Reports in recent months show many metro areas in the Northwest have at least stabilized. But this also confirms the deep jobs hole that exists even here, with 2009 seeing continued losses. Let’s hope the Microsoft cuts are not a sign that companies anticipate a fresh pullback in the tepid recovery. (Microsoft continues to hire in specific areas).

Today’s report on slightly better weekly jobless claims means little in itself. Unemployment remains very high, especially among young people and minorities, among others, and private-sector hiring remains weak. About the best take I found came from James Picerno on Seeking Alpha:

The case for deflation retreated a bit today with this morning’s update of weekly jobless claims. New filings for unemployment benefits slumped by a tidy 21,000 last week to 454,000, the government reported. That’s the biggest weekly drop since mid-April and the decline represents a tactical victory for the bulls. But until and if the trend rolls on it’s only marginally encouraging. The strategic outlook, in other words, is still up for grabs.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Is this rally real?

Average investors hang on

The roller coaster

Comments | More in Jobs/Unemployment

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►