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Jon Talton

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

December 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Washington’s long road back to employment, in charts

The damage from the Great Recession isn’t over, not by a long shot. It will linger for years, even in booming Seattle. But Washington is doing much better on the employment front, particularly if the seeming stall in job growth from late summer doesn’t reemerge. Here’s how we got there.

1. The unemployment rate has steadily tracked down since 2010. Still, it’s relatively high for this far into a recovery. A close parallel is after the severe recession of 1980-81.

fredUNEMPLOYRATE

2. King County is doing even better, reaching very close to what would be considered full employment:

fredKING

3, Initial claims for unemployment compensation have finally fallen into a normal zone:

fredCLAIMS

4. Average hourly earnings have significantly outpaced the national number. As an average, this doesn’t give us a sense of the wage quality of the jobs that have been created since the crash, however.

fredHOURS

5. Still, the labor force is below its 2009 peak.  This mirrors a national decline in labor force participation, and only part of it can be explained by retirement of baby boomers.

fredLABORFORCE


Today’s Econ Haiku:

Is cheaper oil good?

The answer depends on whose

Barrel you’re over


 

Comments | More in | Topics: Seattle economy, Seattle unemployment, Washington economy

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