Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

18 responses to “Seattle Unemployment Drops Again as Job Gains Continue”

  1. Tim McB

    5.5% unemployment in the Seattle metro area, that sounds postively healthy and normal. How we got there however, is any thing but healthy and normal.

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  2. Blurtman

    Shame on you, Tim, for publishing misleading data. You cannot say that unemployment has dropped nationwide without also commenting on the record high not in the labor force number. I trust you are not turning into a NAR cheerleader at this stage. Remember, if there were zero jobs, and folks stopped looking, the unemployment rate would be zero, and yet no one would be working. Tsk, tsk,…

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  3. doug

    This is really positive news for the people seeking minimum wage jobs. Except I have no idea how people making minimum wage jobs will be able to purchase houses. The real estate market is now driven by the mass exodus californians and investors. This article also fails to include the additional 25% of discouraged workers that have given up seeking employment and also the underemployed or part time work force. Let us not forget these polls for employment are based on unemployment wages.

    The unemployment rate in the Seattle area is actually 45% to 60% 2 out of 4 people are unemployed or have completely given up. Nationally it is 3 out of 4.

    We are heading for the biggest economic crash in Americas history.

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  4. Blurtman

    This will be on the final. Medical school is in doubt. Have you considered a career as a realtor?

    “Instead, the number of Americans in the labor force — those who have a job or are looking for one — fell by nearly half a million people from February to March, the government said Friday. And the percentage of working-age adults in the labor force — what’s called the participation rate — fell to 63.3 percent last month. It’s the lowest such figure since May 1979.

    The falling participation rate tarnished the only apparent good news in the jobs report the Labor Department released Friday: The unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low of 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 in February.

    People without a job who stop looking for one are no longer counted as unemployed. That’s why the U.S. unemployment rate dropped in March despite weak hiring. If the 496,000 who left the labor force last month had still been looking for jobs, the unemployment rate would have risen to 7.9 percent in March.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/06/labor-force-participation-rate_n_3028135.html

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  5. Kyle

    RE: doug @ 3

    Would it be possible to get a third rating option? The thumbs down doesn’t quite capture my feelings for Doug’s comment. Something along the lines of

    1) a smiley face with an index finger twirling around his ear
    2) a bird intermittently springing from a clock with a “koo-koo” sound
    3) a straight jacket

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  6. pfft

    By Tim McB @ 1:

    5.5% unemployment in the Seattle metro area, that sounds postively healthy and normal. How we got there however, is any thing but healthy and normal.

    no, it’s pretty normal during a financial crisis to not let a recession become a depression.

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  7. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 2:

    Shame on you, Tim, for publishing misleading data. You cannot say that unemployment has dropped nationwide without also commenting on the record high not in the labor force number.

    STILL?

    oh

    my

    god.

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  8. pfft

    By doug @ 3:

    The unemployment rate in the Seattle area is actually 45% to 60% 2 out of 4 people are unemployed or have completely given up. Nationally it is 3 out of 4.

    We are heading for the biggest economic crash in Americas history.

    silly.

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  9. pfft

    By Kyle @ 5:

    RE: doug @ 3

    Would it be possible to get a third rating option? The thumbs down doesn’t quite capture my feelings for Doug’s comment. Something along the lines of

    1) a smiley face with an index finger twirling around his ear
    2) a bird intermittently springing from a clock with a “koo-koo” sound
    3) a straight jacket

    exactly.

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  10. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 7 – The facts clash with your rhetoric, that is true. Why don’t you publish links showing that the low labor force participation rate is due exclusively to retiring boomers. No CBN links, please.

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  11. David Losh

    I actually like the unemployment numbers in that what was reported today is that the underground economy has grown to about $2 Trillion.

    In our cleaning business we know that we compete with people who get paid under the table. Many of the contractors who I used to use are now for cash, and cash only labor.

    I have a domain name, and a WordPress site that I put up for laborseattle dot com that I had to close because it got so much traffic. People still call me to ask if we have work for them.

    I think the unemployment numbers are correct, but I also know that Seattle is an oasis of new jobs for Amazon, bio tech, Microsoft, and Boeing.

    So, it seems to me that Seattle is a vibrant place for employment, and that the economy may be growing differently than we think of as normal.

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  12. mike

    RE: Blurtman @ 10 – Low participation isn’t exclusively due to retirement, but it’s a significant demographic trend that will continue from here on out. It’s just as disingenuous to imply that the falling participation rate is mostly due to a weak economy.

    I personally know a lot of people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, (even 50’s and 60’s) that ‘dropped out’ for an unusually long time because their industry shrunk after 2007. Most, but not all of them are back working now, many in a different industry. I’m certainly not going to say it’s all good news, but it’s also nowhere near the “shocking” 40%+ numbers certain politically motivated news organizations like to throw out as facts.

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  13. wreckingbull

    By David Losh @ 11:

    I actually like the unemployment numbers in that what was reported today is that the underground economy has grown to about $2 Trillion.

    In our cleaning business we know that we compete with people who get paid under the table. Many of the contractors who I used to use are now for cash, and cash only labor.

    I have a domain name, and a WordPress site that I put up for laborseattle dot com that I had to close because it got so much traffic. People still call me to ask if we have work for them.

    I think the unemployment numbers are correct, but I also know that Seattle is an oasis of new jobs for Amazon, bio tech, Microsoft, and Boeing.

    So, it seems to me that Seattle is a vibrant place for employment, and that the economy may be growing differently than we think of as normal.

    When your “labor” blog (I can’t quite figure out what it is) is overwhelmed and you see a major trend toward cash, under-the-table work, you are describing a situation which does exactly connote a healthy job market.

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  14. Nick

    The difference between 7.6% and 5.5% is HUGE when it comes to unemployment.

    I know some vocal commenters here keep predicting price contraction for Seattle real estate, but face it: jobs drive home prices. We aren’t going to see falling home prices with 5.5% (and falling) unemployment rates.

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  15. Nick

    The surge in Retail jobs is interesting. Do all Amazon employees count as “retail?” Do the categories reflect the industry or the actual role? Because if Amazon is “retail” then that’s a lot of six-figure retail workers…

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  16. Blurtman

    RE: mike @ 13 – Yes. I had posted links, one of which described retiring boomers to account for 40% of the labor force participation rate decrease. But that is still 60% due to a crappy economy.

    Tune in, turn on, drop out. Now where did I hear that before?

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  17. Seattle Labor Participation Outperforming National Rate • Seattle Bubble

    [...] the comments on yesterday’s jobs post, Blurtman leveled the following [...]

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  18. David Losh

    RE: wreckingbull @ 13

    On the other side is the number of people we meet who moved here to work at Amazon.

    I don’t see a category for tech industry, or bio tech/ medical.

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