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Momentum: Community News and Commentary
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County Unemployment for July
Unemployment in Snohomish County was estimated at 3.8 percent in July, according to the state's Employment Security department. That rate was very little changed since June. Statewide, Washington State gained 12,400 jobs in July, and unemployment ranged from 3.0 to 9.6 percent.

Source

'Sprouts' Opens to Packed House
The new Sprouts store on Bothell-Everett Highway opened August 15, drawing a full house and a parking lot to match. Click the link to see photos of the event.

Opening Day Photos

WA Adds 12,400 Jobs in July
OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 12,400 jobs in July and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for July was 4.6 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The July unemployment rate decreased slightly from the June 2018 unemployment rate of 4.7 percent, matching a historical low.

“The state continues to feel the positive impact its economy is having on employment,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Benchmark revisions to the data showed that job growth has accelerated with the beginning of the calendar year.”

The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.

The department also announced that June’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.7 was confirmed. Job gains in June were revised significantly upward from 4,100 to 7,100 jobs.

The national unemployment rate was at 3.9 percent in July. In July 2017 , the national unemployment rate was 4.3 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 47,711 people in July.

The state’s labor force in July was 3,763,300 – an increase of 3,100 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 300 over the same period.

From July 2017 through July 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 30,300 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 31,700 .

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Private sector employment increased by 11,900 while the public sector added 500 jobs in July. This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in professional & business services up 4,200, retail trade up 3,100, manufacturing up 1,700, wholesale trade up 1,600 and information up 1,500. Other sectors adding jobs were education & health services and government both up 500 and construction up 300.

The number of jobs in the mining and logging sector remained constant in July.

Financial activities experienced the biggest reduction in July losing 500 jobs while leisure & hospitality and other services both lost 200 jobs and transportation, warehousing & utilities lost 100 jobs.

Washington added an estimated 102,500 new jobs from July 2017 through July 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.7 percent, up an estimated 103,600 jobs, while the public sector decreased by 0.2 percent with a net loss of 1,100 jobs.

From July 2017 through July 2018, twelve industry sectors added jobs while only the public sector lost jobs.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
  • Professional & business services with 25,600 new jobs;
  • Education & health services with 17,100 new jobs; and
  • Retail trade with 13,400 new jobs.


Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization,” or U-6 rate, for states to include the first quarter of 2018. The U-6 rate considers not only the unemployed population in the official U-3 unemployment rate, but also “the underemployed and those not looking but wanting a job.” The U-6 rate for Washington through the first quarter 2018 was 9.0 percent compared to the national rate of 8.3 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2007.
Paid Family Leave Program Under Development in Washington
OLYMPIA – A U.S. Senate Finance subcommittee hearing related to paid family leave last week brought renewed attention to Washington’s upcoming Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. This statewide insurance program is currently under development at the Employment Security Department (ESD). As laid out in bipartisan legislation, passed in the 2017 legislative session, premium collection begins Jan. 1, 2019 and benefits become available Jan. 1, 2020.

“Our state is leading the way on paid family leave policy by creating the most business- and worker-friendly program in the U.S., and we’re excited to see this issue being discussed at the national level,” said ESD’s commissioner, Suzi LeVine. “I am proud to lead the organization building a program that will ensure workers in this state won’t have to choose between collecting a paycheck and putting family first.”

When fully implemented in 2020, Paid Family and Medical Leave will allow working Washingtonians to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave, as needed, to care for themselves or a family member in times of serious illness or injury, for certain military connected events or as parental leave to bond with a new child coming into the family. The program is funded through premiums paid by both employees and employers, and with few exceptions, most Washington workers and businesses will participate in the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program.

“Whether you work part-time, in multiple jobs, for a small business or a large corporation, by 2020 almost anyone working in this state will be able to take necessary time off to care for themselves and their loved ones. We have also talked to many employers who are excited to be able to soon offer this benefit when they otherwise couldn’t afford to do so,” LeVine said.

Washington’s program is unique in many ways, including having the highest rate of wage replacement for workers of any similar program in the U.S., business assistance grants that provide financial help to small and mid-sized employers when workers take leave, and portability of the benefit for those who work multiple jobs or change employment. Washington is also leading the nation as the first state to create a Paid Family and Medical Leave program without an existing statewide or temporary disability program in place. With the exception of Hawaii, all other states will be required to follow Washington in building a Paid Family and Medical Leave program from the ground up, should they pass similar legislation.

In written testimony submitted to the Senate subcommittee, LeVine noted there are many benefits of paid family and medical leave to both workers and employers. These benefits include better health outcomes from newborns and their parents, reduced costs and lower staff turnover for businesses, and improved health outcomes for the elderly when they have a family member helping with their care.

“Washington’s best-in-the-nation program is a testament to the good that comes from everyone having a voice in the discussions around paid family and medical leave,” LeVine added. “Because whether you need back surgery, time to care for a family member with cancer or the opportunity to welcome a child into the family, everyone will need to use Paid Family and Medical Leave at some point.”
Non-profit Partners with UW Bothell to Promote Event
Three University of Washington Bothell courses with a total of 50 students are engaged in community-based learning and research (CBLR) projects this summer with the Latino Educational Training Institute (LETI), a Lynnwood-based nonprofit that serves the Latino community in south Snohomish County.

UW Bothell started its partnership with LETI three years ago, and some faculty involve their classes almost every quarter, said Kara Adams, UW Bothell's director of community engagement. The University has dozens of such partner organizations and businesses, and LETI is one of just six on its community engagement council, she added.

The students' projects in these courses all relate to the annual Latino Expo, scheduled for Aug. 4 at Edmonds Community College where as many as 1,000 people will enjoy food, music and cultural dance along with educational workshops and medical screening. As part of its mission to strengthen community ties, the expo also showcases products and services for and by the Latino community.

Read more

Employment Picture Remains Sunny as Summer Begins
According to the State of Washington, "on a seasonally adjusted basis, preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate nonfarm employment in Washington rose by 8,500 from April 2018 to May 2018.1 BLS estimates the private sector gained 7,800 jobs during the month and the public sector gained 700 jobs.

"On a not seasonally adjusted basis, estimates for May 2017 through May 2018 indicate an increase in employment of 90,100 for the state. The private sector added 85,100 jobs while the public sector gained an estimated 5,000 jobs over the year.

"Washington’s preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May 2018 is 4.7 percent. The revised estimated April 2018 unemployment rate is at 4.8 percent. The May 2017 unemployment rate was 4.8 percent.

"BLS estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. Preliminary estimates are subject to revision. April’s preliminary estimated gain of 7,100 jobs was revised to a gain of 8,200 jobs."

For more information, call Paul Turek, labor economist at 360-507-9599.
Farmers Market Enjoys Sunny Day
The Mill Creek Farmers Market today welcomed Tualco Valley Farm with loads of berries and cherries; Down To Earth Farm with salad mix, duck eggs, radishes & more; Grandmother Willow Farm with a beautiful array of chard, herbs and greens; and Crooked Fork Farms with plant starts, greens & wild foraged goodies!

Nearly all available booth locations were filled, but some are available for next week, Friday, June 22. Applications may be submitted at the following link

Application Form

Town Center Parking Lot Gratings Pose Slip and Fall Hazard
The summer rainfall of June 8 exposed a problem with the parking area west of Main Street in MC Town Center when a 75-year-old man slipped on a steel grating and fell to the ground in the driveway, injuring his right arm and shoulder. On examination, the grating, which had originally had a roughened surface when it was installed, had been polished "as smooth and slippery as black ice" according to the man.

Examination by an MCT reporter revealed that all the gratings in the parking area behind Mongolian Grill and adjacent businesses northward and southward were equally slick. In every case, the parts of the gratings nearest curbs and parking slots retained some of their original rough (toothed) texture, but the areas away from the curbs and parked cars had all been worn smooth. In addition, several grate openings are warped, presumably from excessive vehicle weight, and have raised edges that pose tripping hazards.

The adjacent graphic shows the less polished surface, similar to original condition, at right and the highly polished surface at left (click image for larger view). The photograph was taken moments after the incident.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, (slip and) falls are the leading cause of death among older persons in the US. "In 2014 alone, older Americans experienced 29 million falls causing seven million injuries and costing an estimated $31 billion in annual Medicare costs, according to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)," the Centers reported.

According to the National Safety Council, "Falls also are the leading cause of injury-related death for adults age 65 and older, according to Injury Facts 2017, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council. This is not surprising considering falls are among the most common causes of traumatic brain injury. More than 33,000 people died from falls in 2015, and the vast majority of them were over age 65."

The location is managed by Panos Properties of Bellevue and Seattle, which did not answer its telephone when called by MCT.
Farmers Market Opens to Sunny Reception
Mill Creek's new farmers market opened May 25. About 30 vendors participated, and customer traffic reached several hundred. Market manager Sarah Jensen reported that vendors were generally pleased with their results.

Most vendors sold crafts and packaged goods. It is anticipated that additional fresh food vendors will participate as the summer progresses.

The market continues through August 31, 2018, in the City Hall North parking lot on Main Street, 15720 Main Street, Mill Creek.

Follow the link below for a list of vendors in our Directory. The market also maintains a Facebook page at #millcreekfarmersmarket.

(This article is in preparation. We await further details from the market organizers. Click image for larger view.)

From the City of MC website: "Join us with a fresh start to summer in Mill Creek with the new Farmers Market with freshly picked berries, cherries and salad greens. Fresh bouquets of vibrant flowers will be beckoning a passersby to take home with them.

"Kids are encouraged to join the Power of Produce Club to learn about vegetables. There will be weekly activities, tastings and demonstrations. POP Club kids receive two $1 tokens to spend at the market, allowing them to make their own shopping decisions and select new vegetables to take home with them.

"Vendors on tap for opening week include: Wakefield’s Baking Company; Hayton Farms Berries; Crooked Forks Farms; Sky Valley Family Farm specializing in chicken, pork, beef and eggs; Bubba’s Salsa; Golden Girls Honey and Hives; Land of the Living Apothecary; and Pixie Dance Hoops, among many others.

"Special Mill Creek Farmers Market bags will be available for purchase for $5 and the inaugural Mill Creek Farmers Market poster, created by local artist Colleen Stone with View from the Heart, will be available as a collector’s item for $3 each."

MC Farmers Market

WA Secretary of State Cautions RE Non-profit Fraud Scheme
Secretary of State Kim Wyman is cautioning Washington business owners to be aware of a misleading and potentially fraudulent mailing that purports to be an official bill related to business registration requirements, according to a press release today from Washington Non-profits, a statewide service organization. Nonprofits are targets of this phishing scheme and we caution all nonprofits to be on the look out for this letter.

“We’re working with the Attorney General’s Office – the agency that investigates and prosecutes consumer fraud – to see if further action should be taken to protect businesses in Washington,” said Wyman, whose office includes the Corporations and Charities Division.

A mailing sent recently to an Edmonds business requested $121.86 be sent to an Olympia post office box by July 31. It warned that “your state annual report will not be filed until payment is received.” However, the mailing does not mention the Office of Secretary of State or include its logo, which can be found on all official correspondence.

Wyman added that any business owner who receives a registration-related bill from an unknown third-party company should contact the Attorney General’s consumer protection division or file an online complaint at atg.wa.gov/fileacomplaint.aspx.

Similar solicitations in the past several years have resulted in an investigation and legal action taken against the senders of the fraudulent letters. Businesses and charities in Washington can always verify their filing status with the Office of Secretary of State by visiting the website, sos.wa.gov/corps. Registration-related questions can be answered at (360) 725-0377 or e-mailed to corps@sos.wa.gov.

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering business entities and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, as well as documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington.

Press Release

Solid gain in payroll employment, unemployment rate little changed
OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy added 7,100 jobs in April and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for April was 4.8 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The April unemployment rate was slightly higher than the revised estimated March 2018 unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

“Washington’s employment situation remains on a positive course,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Jobs keep being added each successive month and the unemployment rate has been at or around 4.8 percent for more than a year.”

The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report. The department also announced that March’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.8 percent was revised slightly lower to 4.7 percent. Job gains in March were revised upward from 3,900 to 5,100 jobs.

The national unemployment rate was at 3.9 percent in April. In April 2017 last year, the national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 56,813 people in April.

Labor force decreased slightly in Washington

The state’s labor force in April was 3,760,800 - a decrease of 700 people from the previous month. However, in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 1,300 over the same period.

From April 2017 through April 2018, the state’s labor force grew by 59,600 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 47,600.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Nine sectors expand, three contract and one remained constant

Private sector employment increased by 6,500 while the public sector gained 600 jobs in April.

This month’s report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in construction up 2,100, education & health services up 1,900, professional & business services up 1,800 and leisure & hospitality up 1,200. Other sectors adding jobs were government up 600, wholesale trade up 500, other services up 200, with information and mining & logging both up 100.

Retail trade experienced the biggest reduction in April losing 600 jobs while manufacturing lost 500 jobs and financial activities lost 300 jobs.

Transportation, warehousing & utilities was the only sector that remained unchanged.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington added an estimated 85,100 new jobs from April 2017 through April 2018, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3 percent, up an estimated 80,200 jobs, and the public sector increased by 0.8 percent, adding 4,900 jobs.

From April 2017 through April 2018, all thirteen industry sectors added jobs.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
Education and health services with 16,600 new jobs;
Retail trade with 16,300 new jobs; and
Professional and business services with 13,000 new jobs.
August Unemployment Up Marginally
OLYMPIA – The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from 4.5 to 4.6 percent in August, primarily due to a jump in the state’s labor force, according to the state Employment Security Department.

“The stronger job market attracted many more job seekers into the labor force in August,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Although most found jobs, those who didn’t pushed the unemployment rate up a touch. Unemployment remains low and businesses continue to add jobs.”

Washington’s economy added an estimated 2,000 new jobs over the month. The department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of its August Monthly Employment Report.

In August last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent this August and 3.7 percent in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 48,504 people in August.

Labor force continues to grow in Washington

The state’s labor force rose to 3.7 million in August — an increase of 16,900 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 5,500 over the same period.

From August 2016 through August 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 69,000 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 14,700.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Seven sectors expand, six contract

Private sector employment increased by 4,900 and government employment decreased by 2,900 jobs in August.

This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in retail trade, up 1,900, and construction and transportation, warehousing and utilities both up 1,500. Other sectors adding jobs were education and health services up 900, wholesale trade up 600, information up 500 and financial services up 100.

Government and other services faced the biggest reduction in August, losing 2,900 and 1,100 jobs respectively. Additionally, professional and business services cut 600, leisure and hospitality eliminated 200, and manufacturing and mining and logging both shed 100.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington has added an estimated 83,000 new jobs from August 2016 through August 2017, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.5 percent or 67,200 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.9 percent, adding 15,800 jobs.

From August 2016 through August 2017, 11 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-4,600) and mining and logging (-200) were the only sectors to report job losses.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

Government with 15,800 new jobs;
Construction with 13,800 new jobs; and
Education and health services with 11,700 new jobs.
Check out Employment Security’s other labor market information and tools, including a video tutorial, to highlight popular information and data.


Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization,” or U-6 rate, for states to include the second quarter of 2017. The U-6 rate considers not only the unemployed population in the official U-3 unemployment rate, but also “the underemployed and those not looking but wanting a job.” The U-6 rate for Washington through the second quarter 2017 was 9.7 percent compared to the national rate of 9.2 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2009.
State unemployment rate hits historic low in April
OLYMPIA – Washington’s added 1,200 new jobs in April and the unemployment rate fell from 4.7 to 4.6 percent – matching the state’s historic low for unemployment last reached in June 2007, according to the state Employment Security Department.

“While job growth was more subdued in April, Washington’s economy continues to trend positively,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “Jobs are being created, unemployment continues to fall and the labor market is tightening.”

The state released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary jobs estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its April Monthly Employment Report.

In April last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent this April and 3.3 percent in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 60,386 people in April.

Labor force continues to grow in Washington

The state’s labor force rose to 3.69 million — an increase of 3,400 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force decreased by 600 over the same period. From April 2016 through April 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 67,900 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 37,500. The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

Five sectors expand, six contract, two unchanged

Private sector employment decreased by 700 and government employment increased by 1,900 jobs in April. This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in government up 1,900, transportation, warehousing and utilities up 1,600 and wholesale trade up 1,300 new jobs. In addition, retail trade added 900 jobs and information increased 400. Education and health services faced the biggest reduction in April, losing 1,200 jobs. Financial activities cut 1,000, leisure and hospitality and professional and business services eliminated 900 each, manufacturing trimmed 800 and other services shaved 100. Construction and mining and logging were unchanged.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington has added an estimated 76,500 new jobs from April 2016 through April 2017, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.3 percent or 61,700 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.6 percent, adding 14,800 jobs. From April 2016 through April 2017, 11 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-8,100) and logging (-100) were the only sectors to report job losses. The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:

Retail trade with 16,100 new jobs;
Government with 14,800 new jobs; and
Construction with 13,700 new jobs.

Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization,” or U-6 rate, for states to include the first quarter of 2017. The U-6 rate considers not only the unemployed population in the official U-3 unemployment rate, but also “the underemployed and those not looking but wanting a job.” The U-6 rate for Washington through the first quarter 2017 was 10 percent compared to the national rate of 9.5 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2009.

Source:
Bill Tarrow
Deputy Communications Director
Employment Security Department
360-902-9376
WA December Unemployment Lowest Since May 2008
OLYMPIA -- Washington's unemployment rate dropped for the fifth month in a row to hit a new low of 5.2 percent in December, according to state Employment Security Department.

"Washington's economy finished strong in 2016 and the short-term job outlook remains positive," said Paul Turek, economist for the department.

The pace of hiring also increased in December as Washington employers added 6,700 new jobs, up from 4,000 jobs in November.

The department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its December Monthly Employment Report.

The national unemployment rate increased a tenth of a percentage to 4.7 percent in December. The unemployment rate in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area held steady at 3.7 percent.

Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 70,238 people in December.

Labor force increases in Washington

The state's labor force remained virtually unchanged at 3.69 million in December, an 800 decrease from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 1,000 to 1.65 million during the same period.

From December 2015 to December 2016, the state=92s labor force grew by 121,200 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 61,600.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over age 16.

Eight sectors expand, four contract

Private-sector employment increased by 7,400 jobs and government employment decreased by 700 in December.

This month=92s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality with 3,400 new jobs created. In addition, information increased 2,500; retail trade expanded 2,200, wholesale trade was up 800, and financial activities added 300. Additionally, education and health services; transportation, warehousing and utilities; and manufacturing each added 200 jobs.

Other services faced the biggest reduction in December, losing 1,300 jobs. Government and professional and business services cut 700 jobs each, and construction fell by 400. Mining and logging employment was unchanged.

Year-over-year growth remains strong

Washington has added an estimated 82,300 new jobs from December 2015 to December 2016, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 2.6 percent or 68,300 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.5 percent, adding 14,000 jobs.

From December 2015 to December 2016, 11 of the state=92s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Manufacturing (-5,900) and mining and logging (-100) were the only sectors to report job losses.

The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
* Education and health services with 20,800 new jobs;
* Government with 14,000 new jobs; and
* Leisure and hospitality with 11,300 new jobs.

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