Earlier this week, the Employment Security Department (ESD) reported that Washington’s unemployment rate has dropped half a percentage point since January. The 3,800 jobs added last month brings April’s rate down to 7 percent, the lowest point since December 2008, when it was 7.1 percent.
Scott Baily, an ESD economist said the state’s labor market is improving faster than the nation’s.
The sectors with the most job gains were:
- Retail trade, up 3,800
- Leisure and hospitality, up 1,600
- Professional and business services, up 1,500
- Other services, up 600
- Manufacturing, up 400
- Financial activities, up 300
So far, Washington has regained about 78 percent of the 205,000 jobs lost during the recession. For more information, get April’s employment report here.
Gov. Jay Inslee signs the Neighborhood Safe Streets Act (House Bill 1045) by Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline).
Click here for a previous story explaining how the Neighborhood Safe Streets Act will save money and lives.
Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, expressed hope and enthusiasm after the first meeting of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup yesterday.
“This is the start of something really exciting,” said Ranker, who joins Rep. Fitzgibbon, Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Bellingham, Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy and Gov. Inslee as the five members of the workgroup. “When lawmakers created our workgroup this past session, we were essentially saying as a Legislature that we’ve moved beyond questioning whether climate change poses a real problem. The debate is no longer about if we should take action, it’s how we take action. Inaction is not an option, and this workgroup will play a key role in making recommendations for how we take action responsibly, meaningfully and effectively as a state,” Ranker said. Continue reading
Flanked by students, teachers and high-tech execs at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, Gov. Inslee signed a bill by Rep. Drew Hansen this week that boosts computer-science education in Washington state to prepare ambitious teens for the 21st-century economy.
“This bill will help students train for high-paying jobs in the technology industry and start addressing our state’s computer programmer shortage,” Hansen said.
House bill 1472 calls for school boards to approve an Advanced Placement (AP) computer-science course as equivalent to a math or science course, including for purposes of meeting math or science graduation requirements for high school, rather than as an elective. States that have treated AP computer science as a math or science course rather than an elective have seen more students enroll in AP computer science.
The signing drew representatives from Microsoft and code.org, a nonprofit group that promotes computer-science education.
Gov. Inslee posted a news release about the event on his Web site.