Spokane Employment – Unemployment data update

First chart is the non-farm employment, essentially how many jobs there are here. This chart does not include the self employed and active duty military. We are likely to see  a slight increase in actual jobs due to seasonal employment the next couple of months.

Much will be made of the unemployment rate which fell sharply from 9.0 to 8.6 percent (yep). The media will have quotes from the usual suspects that this a sign of Spokane’s soaring economy and that things are definitely looking up (yep). Please take the chart above into consideration before getting carried away with the superlatives.

I had a phone call this morning about layoffs – the first – at a local health care organization…

I suspect the chart below is a sign of “funny business”. Notice the unusual pattern at the same time, each year, in this chart of month over month changes, in percent.

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2 Responses to Spokane Employment – Unemployment data update

  1. koop says:

    …perhaps this has to do with teachers?…Not funny business, just normal summers…

  2. inlandnw says:

    The same spikes also show in the initial applications for unemployment insurance.

    One of the local economists was quoted in the paper saying local school districts put their staff (not teachers) on 9 or 10 month contracts, lay them off every June and then re-hire them every August and September. In the interim, they apply for unemployment while on vacation.

    Fulltime teaching staff are not annually contracted like that, I believe. One teacher told me while they work about 9 months, their paychecks are pro-rated and issued over 12 months and cannot apply for unemployment every summer. I have no idea if this is true or not and I do not plan to look in to it.

    I referred to this as “funny business” because if this is true, this would be shady accounting, moving your workers’ wages onto the UI fund every summer.

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