Report: Washington has 16th-worst unemployment rate change in the nation



(The Center Square) – Washington ranks No. 36 on a list of changes in the unemployment rate by state, according to a WalletHub report released Friday.

To determine its rankings, the personal finance website examined all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on six key metrics comparing unemployment rate statistics for June to key dates this year and in 2022, 2020 and 2019.

The Center Square reached out to WalletHub for an explanation for the Evergreen State’s placement on the list.

“Washington is the state with the 16th-worst unemployment rate change,” analyst Jill Gonzalez said in an email. “The state is registering a slight improvement in terms of unemployment, with a 6.4% decreased rate compared to May 2023. There are also 1.9% fewer unemployed people than in the same month last year.”

There is a downside, she cautioned.

“However, the current unemployment rate of 3.8% is still higher than the national average of 3.6%,” Gonzalez explained. “These numbers indicate that Washington’s labor market might’ve gained a significant amount of job openings.”

Things could get worse, according to her.

“Despite this, the state’s unemployment rate could potentially increase in the next month due to the upcoming Fed rate hike, which can lead to a nationwide reduction in hiring,” Gonzalez speculated.

It’s expected that Federal Reserve officials at their next meeting on July 26 will raise the benchmark overnight interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point.

Federal Reserve officials at their June meeting decided to hold off on raising interest rates, opting to pause to assess the impact of the 10 previous hikes meant to cool down inflation. The decision left the benchmark rate at a range of 5% to 5.25%.

Neighboring Pacific Northwest states Oregon and Idaho fared better than Washington, according to WalletHub.

Oregon was ranked No. 28 and Idaho was ranked No. 21.

The 10 states with the best changes in unemployment:

1. Maryland

2. New Hampshire

3. Vermont

4. Massachusetts

5. South Dakota

6. Alabama

7. Nebraska

8. Maine

9. North Dakota

10. Montana

The states and state designate with the worst changes in unemployment:

51. Louisiana

50. Illinois

49. New York

48. New Jersey

47. Kentucky

46. Delaware

45. Texas

44. California

43. District of Columbia

42. Nevada

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