Washington's 4.1% unemployment rate among worst in nation

Adobe Stock

A report from WalletHub shows that Washington state’s unemployment claims are among the highest in the nation.

In terms of unemployment rate changes, Washington came in as the No. 46 state in the nation, according to the personal finance website’s study.

To determine its rankings, WalletHub looked at all 50 states and the District of Columbia, comparing the changes in unemployment from May – the most recent figures available – to April 2023, May 2022, May 2020 and May 2019. WalletHub also factored in each state’s overall unemployment rate.

“May’s jobs report showed an uptick in growth,” the WalletHub report states. “The economy gained 339,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, up from 294,000 the previous month. In May, there were notable gains in sectors including professional and business services, government, health care, construction, transportation and warehousing, and social assistance.

"Now, the U.S. unemployment rate sits at 3.7%. We have come a long way from the nearly historic high of 14.7% in May 2020, due to a combination of vaccinations and the country fully reopening. However, inflation and the potential of a recession threaten to push the unemployment rate higher again if Federal Reserve rate increases are not able to stave them off.”

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez spoke to Washington’s low ranking.

“Washington is the state with the 6th worst unemployment rate change,” she emailed The Center Square. “Its current unemployment rate is 4.1%, higher than the 3.7% national average. When compared to May 2022, Washington registered a 6.6% increase in the number of unemployed people. However, this number was slightly smaller in May than in April 2023.”

Per the WalletHub report, the Evergreen State shares a 4.1% unemployment rate with Illinois and Texas.

Only Delaware (4.2%), California (4.5%), the District of Columbia (5.1%) and Nevada (5.4%) have a higher unemployment rate than Washington.

“Although the report doesn’t dive into the specific reasons behind Washington’s high unemployment rate, the drop could be due to the re-emergence of seasonal jobs,” Gonzalez speculated.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment