Eastside King County restaurant owners discuss challenges recently with U.S. Rep Suzan DelBene at Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond. (Photo credit: Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)

Eastside King County restaurant owners discuss challenges recently with U.S. Rep Suzan DelBene at Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond. (Photo credit: Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)

King County unemployment is down after COVID-fueled recession

Economy shows signs of recovery.

The unemployment rate in King County is slowly but surely declining as the economy recovers from the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Washington Employment Security Department.

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for King County in October 2021 was 4.4%. In October 2020, the rate was 6.3%. This is a massive improvement from the record unemployment rate of 15.1% in April 2020, according to the ESD.

King County’s October 2021 unemployment rate is slightly lower than the statewide rate of 5%, according to the ESD.

The ESD estimates around 1,242,523 people are currently employed in the county and 57,244 are currently unemployed.

Unemployment claims have also decreased and are more or less back to normal, according to the ESD. The weekly unemployment claims for the week of Nov. 14–20 fell below the number of claims for the same week in 2019, prior to the pandemic, according to the ESD.

Non-farm employment increased by over 12,000 jobs from September through October 2021, according to the ESD.

Each major industry sector is reporting a year-over-year recovery from the recession, ESD economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said.

The largest gains in employment were in the governmental, professional and business services, Vance-Sherman said. The biggest losses were in the construction industry, according to the ESD.


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