Washington unemployment rate jumped to 5.1% in March

Washington's unemployment rate jumped to 5.1% in March due to job losses, largely related to the coronavirus outbreak

OLYMPIA, Wash – As the economy endures another week of shut-down retail stores, restaurants and other businesses, Washington’s unemployment report shows the state’s unemployment rate hit 5.1% in March.

That’s up from 3.8 percent in February and up from 4.5% in March 2019. The state’s economy lost more than 11,000 jobs in March.

It’s not hard to figure out why it happened, as Governor Jay Inslee ordered the shutdown of non-essential businesses in mid-March. That led to thousands of Washingtonians losing their jobs. That number will likely climb even higher in April. Last week alone, more than 170,000 people in Washington filed first-time unemployment claims.

The biggest job losses in March were in the leisure and hospitality industry, which lost 12,300 jobs in Washington. Construction showed the biggest gains, with 2,500 jobs added in March.

The national unemployment rate for March was 4.4 percent.

You can read the full monthly employment report for March at this link.