Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, chairman of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, issued the following statement following the announcement Jan. 22 by the state Employment Security Department that Washington employment has exceeded its pre-recession peak by nearly 100,000 jobs.
“It’s great to hear that we have finally caught up to where we were before the recession. But we have to remember the growth in the economy has not been shared equally across the state.
“In King County, the unemployment rate is just over 4 percent. But in Spokane County it is over 7 percent, and in some counties it exceeds 10 percent.
“Outside Seattle we still have high unemployment rates and the recovery remains fragile. I wouldn’t count this as a success until the rest of Washington shares in the gains.”
Charts help make the point. Washington exceeded its pre-recession employment in early 2014 and overall growth has continued…
…but outside Seattle unemployment remains high.