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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jobs-Killing Socialism Drives Seattle's Unemployment Rate Down to 4.7 Percent

Posted by on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The Seattle metro area's unemployment rate plunged to 4.7 percent in May, according to the latest monthly report (PDF) released today by the Washington State Employment Security Department. Economists generally consider five percent unemployment to be "full employment" (although that's easy for an employed economist to say).

That represents a significant decline from April's 5.1 percent rate at the same time the region's resident labor force grew 0.7 percent. Statewide the unemployment rate fell from 7.0 percent in April to 6.8 percent in May. The national unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.6 percent.

Of course there are reasons to question the accuracy and volatility of such monthly statistics, but as an apples to apples comparison it is clear that Seattle's economy is doing considerably better than much of the rest of the nation. So what's to explain our relatively tight labor market? Clearly our war on cars, our jobs-killing paid sick leave ordinance, our high property taxes, and our incompetent, ornery mayor.


Comments (39) RSS

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Baconcat 1
I'm always boggled by this idea that McGinn hasn't been able to work with City Council or do anything worth a damn -- the economy is booming, major progressive legislation has passed, the mayor has gone to bat against hyper-loony conservatives in DC.

I'd say the Mayor and Council are doing pretty well right now and they're a largely co-equal body, so in spite of the spite they're still a pretty great team.
Posted by Baconcat on June 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
So, Mayor McGinn has:

a. created jobs
b. kept arterials plowed during snowstorms
c. swallowed his justified position that the tunnel is/was a boondoggle that would create traffic problems instead of saner/cheaper options like a surface highway boulevard or rebuilt viaduct that had half the global warming impacts over their lifespans
d. kept us working.

Face it, the plutocrats just want to loot Seattle and ship our jobs to their workers overseas.
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 19, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
All the things the mayor's working on - fiber broadband, paid sick leave, better transit - are making this a better place to run a business, and this shows it. Four more years!
Posted by Ben Schiendelman on June 19, 2013 at 12:45 PM · Report this
Um, Ditto @1-3!

Every couple months we get something like this ("this" being something I can gloat about to my friends stuck in my hometown in Eastern Washington).

Seattle's progress excites me so much. Let's keep it going!
Posted by grkle on June 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
McGinn taking credit for jobs is like the rooster taking credit for the sunrise.
Posted by hmmmmm on June 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
@5 it would be silly to attribute sole or primary responsibility to McGinn, but it's also equally silly to dismiss the executive office's role in shepherding Seattle through the recession. No matter how you slice it, we got dealt a crummy hand along with the rest of the country. But thanks to many positive factors in our favor -- and City Hall stewardship is certainly on that list -- we're humming along like nobody's business.

There are plenty of examples throughout the country and the world where decent or good fundamentals were not enough to get a community back on its feet. In Seattle, we pursued infrastructure investment, unflinching and clear-eyed budget rehabilitation, and various progressive policies and smart economic endeavors. And look where we are.
Posted by grkle on June 19, 2013 at 1:13 PM · Report this
seandr 7
It'd be easy to credit these numbers to our booming tech, biotech, and construction/real estate industries.

But when you look past superficial and distracting things like REALITY, it becomes obvious that this is all the work of our city's brilliant mastermind, Mike McGinn.
Posted by seandr on June 19, 2013 at 1:20 PM · Report this
Thank goodness we defeated the 2010 income tax initiative by 28 points back in 2010! Companies are still willing to hire. That's great.
Posted by nickj116 on June 19, 2013 at 1:23 PM · Report this
seandr 9
@6: the executive office's role in shepherding Seattle through the recession

Indeed! Our region's major industries would have never found their way through that recession without the brave and visionary McGinn as their shepherd.

Three baaahs for McGinn!
Posted by seandr on June 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Hernandez 10
It's such a wonderful testament to the hard work, savvy, and resilience of Seattle workers and business owners that we have recovered so quickly and so well.

Paid sick leave is a great thing and a major accomplishment. High property taxes fund the services we all want and need. But only a moron would refuse to acknowledge that these things present challenges and obstacles to businesses. They're good things, but they do create additional hurdles for business owners. It's OK to admit that.

Businesses have risen to these challenges and continue to thrive. Credit where credit's due.
Posted by Hernandez on June 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM · Report this
seandr 11
@6: we pursued infrastructure investment

Investments such as The Tunnel, of which McGinn was such an early and vocal proponent. And let's not forget his successful bid to return the NBA to Seattle!

various progressive policies and smart economic endeavors

Endeavors such as 2 very fancy streetcars to be paid for by cutting 65 boring old bus routes. And his progressive work on police reform!
Posted by seandr on June 19, 2013 at 1:39 PM · Report this

Guess a lot of people left.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on June 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM · Report this
The metro area workforce+unemployed is 15,000 fewer than a year ago.

More people dropping out of the labor market altogether; what passes for economic progress in the HomoLiberal Socialist Welfare State.

(the same figure for the state is down over 50,000.....)
Posted by Dropping Out, Man..... on June 19, 2013 at 1:48 PM · Report this

Yeah, I just see a lot less people "around" like here in S.E. King County. I think tons of people who were off the books...crashing at other peoples places...working in the underground or criminal economy off odd parttime work...just up and vamoosed.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on June 19, 2013 at 1:51 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 15
If the unemployment rate really is in the normalish range, then why are recruiters still receiving 100 - 500 resumes for any jobs that are worth a shit?

Either a whole lotta people are trying to escape lousy jobs that they hate, or the state is cookin' the books the same way the Fed does and anyone who can't find a job is no longer considered unemployed once their benefits run out. That would mean the real unemployment rate is more like 9.5 - 10%.
Posted by Original Andrew on June 19, 2013 at 1:58 PM · Report this

you are so precious.

and proof that pot is better than brains.....
Posted by Everything is Groovy, Man! on June 19, 2013 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 17
@11 actually the tunnel is mostly helping Japan keep their economy afloat and is harming efficiency - but if you insist on forcing him to build it, McGinn has kept our local transportation system from collapsing as a result.

But hey, results matter.

@15 you mean IN THE REST OF THE STATE. We're doing fine, less than 5 percent. In Seattle. Subsidizing you wastrels elsewhere.
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 19, 2013 at 2:09 PM · Report this
and 80% of the 4100 jobs created last month were public sector.

again, what passes for economic progress in The Socialist Democrapic State of Gommorah.
Posted by Seattle. Greece in the rain. on June 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM · Report this
@11, when I reference city infrastructure, I'm talking about nuts and bolts stuff like road and safety improvements, shoring up budget deficits, etc. But of course your extremely smart take on the tunnel and the Sonics completely nullify the relevance of local hiring practices and increasing city improvement works on unsexy but critical repairs, or that those streetcars were approved prior to McGinn assuming office, or that the Mayor, the city, the county and many others are fighting to preserve Metro funding while its fate rests in the hands of the ever-incompetent state legislature.

You clearly have a keen grasp on municipal process. I shouldn't condescend with an explanation as if you were just some snarky jackass. After all, you make such a cogent point about police reform. I mean, it's not like police abuse has been a problem for decades or that the city is implementing a number of systemic reforms that weren't proposed by the DoJ monitor or other external authority, right...?
Posted by grkle on June 19, 2013 at 2:11 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 20

But by that standard, the "real" unemployment rate of the rest of the country is 20 to 30%. Seattle is still ahead. And further, many of those resumes the recruiters are getting are people out in the rest of Washington, and the rest of America, who are smart enough to send their resumes where the jobs are, rather than send them to were the unemployed are.

But you also have to consider that if you get fired in Seattle, you're going to be homeless in a month or two if you don't find a high paying job toot sweet. One of the consequences of an expensive town is the unemployed can't afford to stay, so they bug out and go join the ranks of the unemployed out where it's cheap to live. Or back with mom and dad in Spokane or Coeur d'Alene or Billings.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on June 19, 2013 at 2:15 PM · Report this


Pop the Cork, Bitch!!

The job gains are all in fluff sectors.
The sectors that actually make stuff continue to fall.....

Government 3,200
Leisure and hospitality 1,500
Education and health services 2,500
Transportation, warehousing and utilities 600
Retail trade 300

Jobs Losses:
Mining and logging -100
Financial activities -300
Construction -500
Manufacturing -600
Information -200
Wholesale trade -400
Professional and business services -500
Other services -1,400
Posted by Stoner Recovery on June 19, 2013 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Seattle had mining and logging jobs?
Posted by ProstSeattle on June 19, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
seandr 23
@19: the city is implementing a number of systemic reforms

Yes, and all thanks to McGinn's belated, begrudging acceptance of the DoJ's legal mandate. And thanks to his total disinterest in any sort of follow through, those reforms might but probably won't make a difference!

McGinn in 2013! He has facial hair and makes a big show of riding a bike!
Posted by seandr on June 19, 2013 at 2:32 PM · Report this
@21 ah yes, the "fluff" sectors of education, health services, and public works. I mean, who needs any of that?
Posted by grkle on June 19, 2013 at 2:33 PM · Report this
fletc3her 25
Reading between the lines, I don't think seandr likes McGinn very much.
Posted by fletc3her on June 19, 2013 at 2:48 PM · Report this
Ziggity 26
@24: Seriously! And while we're at it let's ignore the following page of the report wherein it's clear that significant job growth has occurred over the last year in retail, professional services, manufacturing, construction, etc.

Gomorra orgytopia!
Posted by Ziggity on June 19, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
Ziggity 27
@22: those are statewide numbers.
Posted by Ziggity on June 19, 2013 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Maybe we're doing so well because we live in a Fascist outpost of the Federal Government. Microsoft and Boeing have a very rich customer with a bottomless pocket of debt-cash to keep us all employed as long as we live in a military police state. Cool!
Posted by what about our children on June 19, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this

If those are "fluff sectors", we'll take them!

I mean, seriously, you call education and health care "fluff", but lump non-manufacturing sectors like finance and IT in with "the sectors that actually make stuff"? I think you're concept of "stuff" is a little skewed there, fella.

Seriously, do you even have a clue as to how much money the Leisure & Hospitality Industry alone generates for this region? Education & Health Services are "fluff"? Health Care is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the national economy and Seattle is well-positioned to be a world leader in biotech & cancer research, so those numbers are hardly the soft, squishy inconsequential indicators you seem to think they are.

And increase in public sector jobs just points to a further overall improvement in our local economy, as demand for those services increase with a growing population base, while simultaneously, business and property tax valuation increases have made it possible to budget for them without tapping into new sources of revenue; all indicative of a healthy, growing, prosperous economy.
Posted by COMTE on June 19, 2013 at 2:57 PM · Report this

If this is your idea of a "military police state", I suggest you stay far, far away from actual totalitarian states such as Myanmar, Chad, Saudi Arabia or Uzbekistan for example, otherwise you might have to confront the notion of what a REAL police state looks like.
Posted by COMTE on June 19, 2013 at 3:20 PM · Report this
Do you really believe those numbers? Too many people are still unemployed - I know people who haven't worked in a year. I'm unemployed - but not on any rolls that would include me in any "official" numbers (not on unemployment)... I'll believe this when my friends and I get actual jobs.
Posted by anita772 on June 19, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Big Sven 32
Goldy- the headline refers to "Seattle Unemployment Rate", but then the first sentence refers to the "Seattle metro area." Indeed, with Seattle only contributing 460k of the metro's 1.8m jobs, the idea that the city's economic policies drive regional growth is absurd. And myopic. And absurdly myopic.

You guys spend your time dissing the vast majority of the Puget Sound area as hillbillies and BMW yuppies, and then claim you're the reason we all have jobs. No thanks.
Posted by Big Sven on June 19, 2013 at 4:07 PM · Report this
"I know people who haven't worked in a year. I'm unemployed "

Create your own job then. Jeez, nipple suckers everywhere think they're entitled to a 'job'. Don't have a job? Make one.

Nice to see the numbers include Bellevue and Everett but don't expect Goldensteinemberg to be honest about that.

Nice to see this happened without an income tax too.
Posted by Sugartit on June 19, 2013 at 4:58 PM · Report this
The other good news is "regressive" taxes don't hurt the economy, right Goldensteinemberg?
Posted by Sugartit on June 19, 2013 at 5:10 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 35
It will be going up in July. UW medical center and Harborview are laying off a couple of hundred staff effectine June 3oth. More to come in September.
Posted by thatsnotright on June 19, 2013 at 5:37 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 36
@32 - But the idea this growth happens in a vacuum is myopic and absurd too. Theres a reason it's not called the Redmond metro area or the Kent metro area. Seattle may not do everything, but it drives the conversation at a regional and state level like nothing else.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on June 19, 2013 at 9:13 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 37
@33 - Youre just butthurt that people know you're actually "High fructose corn syrup-tit" and that there's no real sugar in you at all.

Also, we know Goldy is Jewish. I'm not sure what you're trying to communicate outside of showing the world you're a racist fuck.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on June 19, 2013 at 9:16 PM · Report this
Big Sven 38
@32: But... all those things that Goldy cites are only in effect for about 30% of the businesses in the area. Vs about 75% for the actions of, oh I dunno, the King County Executive. And 100% for the actions of the state government. If other municipalities adopted Seattle's policies on a regular basis, I would agree with you. But they don't.
Posted by Big Sven on June 20, 2013 at 1:07 AM · Report this
"you're a racist fuck."

Red Sea Pedestrians are a race?
Posted by Mercer Island Goy on June 20, 2013 at 2:43 PM · Report this

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