Underemployment rate 18.1% – much more telling than “official unemployment” Washington statistic of 9.1%

Nearly one in five Washington workers are unemployed. Their plight is like that of Seattle administrative assistant Lorilee Lines, who applied for more than 200 jobs before landing a meagre 30 hour per week job. This statistic was provided by Sanjay Bhatt of the Seattle Times, November 18, 2009, for the 12 months ending September 2010, in a page one article.

The national unemployment stood at 9.6% and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics placed the "underemployed" statistic at 16.8%, but this is regarded as a very restrictive interpretation of underemployed.

Underemployment rates capture part timers, but they still leave out those working in full time jobs for which they are overqualified.

Through approximately October 2010, Washington has seen a net gain of only about 6,000 jobs. Overall, about 10,200 jobs were added in the private sector, but these were offset by a loss of some 4,200 government and public sector jobs.

Contrary to national trends, jobs continue to contract in Washington. Washington had 8,500 fewer jobs in October 2010 than it had in October 2009 – a decline of 0.3%. By contrast, there was a 0.6% increase in jobs nationwide over the same period. As reported in the Seattle Times, November 18, 2010.

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