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Washington unemployment rate in November was 6%

December 16, 2020 GMT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s jobless rate was 6% last month, and the state’s economy added just 100 jobs.

According to numbers released Wednesday by the Employment Security Department, November’s rate was the same as October’s.

Private sector employment increased by 2,600 jobs while government employment decreased by 2,500 jobs. The largest private job growth occurred in professional and business services, other services and financial activities.

“The government sector job losses almost completely counteracted private sector job gains in November,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department, in a written statement. “However, the rate of improvement in private employment has slowed, and the latest round of COVID restrictions creates the potential for payrolls to decline next month.”

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Earlier this month, Gov. Jay Inslee extended current restrictions on businesses and social gatherings through Jan. 4 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Job gains and losses are estimates based on a survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate counts the percentage of people who are unemployed and actively looking for work, and doesn’t include those who have stopped looking for work. The national unemployment rate for November was 6.7%, and the rate in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett region was 4.5%.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to more than 400,000 people in November, a decrease of 53,507 from the previous month.