Next Thursday, the state will report December’s unemployment and job creation. The national report earlier this month was a disappointment. But even if Washington appears to be doing better than most states, here’s the unsettling reality: As of November, the most recent month tracked, non-farm payrolls here had still not recovered to their pre-recession peak.
More than 2.93 million Washingtonians held jobs in November. But the number was nearly 2.98 million in early 2008. This may seen like a quibble over a few thousand jobs, but the state has added population since the downturn began.
In addition, the trajectory of output growth without the recession would have added many more jobs. Also, total payrolls faltered somewhat in November compared with late summer. That’s not necessarily a sign December’s numbers will disappoint, but it is a reminder that the job market remains very fragile, even here.
The situation is Oregon is even more problematic, where the recession hit harder, especially in manufacturing and timber. November payroll employment totaled 1.68 million compared with 1.74 million in late 2007.
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Today’s Econ Haiku:
Stuck in a tunnel
Mud on the private sector
Bertha’s unkind cut