New Data Points Show 'Soft Patch' In Hiring, Slow Overall Growth

By Tom Banse

Washington state hit a 'soft patch' in hiring and is looking at slow overall growth. That news comes from two new data points on the Washington economy out Wednesday.

This week, we're getting a double dose of state unemployment stats because federal government furloughs last month delayed economic releases. Washington state's unemployment rate from August through October essentially held steady at 7 percent. State labor economist Paul Turek noted an unexpected slowdown in hiring last month. It comes at a point in the recovery where he would've expected strengthening. 

The state's chief revenue forecaster separately presented a flat outlook to a legislative panel Wednesday. Steve Lerch describes the overall picture as a slow, steady growth, and says "whether we are talking about the national economy or the state economy... There are all sorts of things out there that raise concerns and mean that there is some uncertainty."

Lerch says those risk factors include slowdowns in China, dysfunction in Washington, DC, housing affordability and ongoing worries about Europe's recovery.


Embed links:

Washington Employment Security monthly unemployment report:
https://fortress.wa.gov/esd/employmentdata/reports-publications/economic-reports/monthly-employment-report

Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council:
http://www.erfc.wa.gov/

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