March 2013 Employment and Unemployment Trends for Spokane County MSA

Total non-farm jobs decreased during March. Looking at the data from 2007 to 2013, the only other year employment went down between February to March was 2009, as the U.S. entered a deep and long lasting recession. Hopefully this downturn in employment is a fluke that will shortly reverse.


The unemployment rate went down from February to March. A drop was expected although this preliminary unemployment estimate is sharper than I expected. The unemployment rate refers to the percentage of the labor force that is unemployed and looking for work and the rate often tracks off in its world. I primarily focus on the total number of non-farm jobs – in other words, how many people are actually working.  People who are working and creating things and delivering services are what makes the economy move forward.

With Spokane County at 9.1%, King County has fallen to 5.5%.

2013MarUnemplBloomsday run, lilac festival parade armed forces day


Annual Days of Sunshine in Spokane

The weather this spring is awesome, isn’t it?

But how does Spokane’s weather stand up, by the numbers?

Annual Days of Sunshine in Washington – Current Results.

Spokane’s days of sunshine per year (on average) is surprisingly similar to Seattle. Not what many of us might have expected.

For Washington:

Some how, Spokane PR has converted 174 days into 260 days of sunshine, which is not true. (Update July 2018: Cities all across the U.S. claim they have “300+” days of sunshine-but it is completely bogus. Long ago, someone measured the number of days in which the sun shone for at least one minute. Yes, one minute. If there was a brief bit of sunlight on an otherwise cold and snowy day, that got counted as a “day of sunshine”. The metric is bogus and useless – yet visitor bureaus and local chamber of commerce groups routinely promote their city as having “300+” days of sunshine. Spokane manages to only rank 260 days with at least one minute of sunshine, however.)

For Oregon:

For Idaho:

How are those weather terms defined?

  • If the sun shines for 70% of the day time or more, its a “Sunny” day.
  • If the sun shines for between 21% and 69% of the day, its “Partly Sunny or Partly Cloudy” day. What’s the difference? The sun doesn’t shine at night so we call it “Partly cloudy”.
  • If the sun shines for less than 20% of the day, its “Cloudy”.