October 24, 2016
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
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Statewide unemployment rate drops to 5.6 percent, but rural areas still struggling

Washington employers added 20,000 jobs last month, helping push the overall statewide unemployment rate down to 5.6 percent. While that's an improvement, it's still higher than the national unemployment rate of 5 percent.

Private employers added 14,300 jobs. Government job numbers increased by 5,700. The Employment Security Department has more information here.

The best job market in the state is in King County (with a 3.9 percent unemployment rate.) Ferry County has a 9.8 percent unemployment rate and Pend Oreille County faces a 9 percent rate. On the far corner of the state, Wahkiakum County has an 8.4 percent jobless rate.

Clearly, while the Seattle area job market is hot, the rest of the state continues to face economic headwinds.

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Focus on Sustainability

Helping CAT Excavators Ride the Rails

HPF Manufacturing, Inc. has created an innovative way to cut fuel use by 97 percent for railroad work and maintenance.

The Snohomish County employer designed Rail-X undercarriages to maximize fuel efficiency by incorporating drive motors so that an excavator can be driven on rail to a work site by a single operator. The average fuel consumption is just 5 gallons per hour. In contrast, the traditional process for rail maintenance involves the following: An excavator is trucked to a rail site, hoisted and bolted onto a rail car, then pulled by locomotive to the work site. The average fuel consumption is 175-200 gallons per hour.

Using Rail-X excavators significantly cuts fuel consumption by up to 97 percent when compared to the traditional process of railroad maintenance, thus reducing the carbon footprint within the rail industry for a more sustainable and green environment.
Read more in Washington Business magazine
Reasons to Say Yes

Oil terminal merits approval

By Mike Bridges, business representative for IBEW 48, Longview

A recent letter by International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 4 President Jared Smith mischaracterized the proposed Vancouver Energy crude-by-rail terminal.

Opponents such as Smith largely base their arguments on concerns about oil trains that are already running through this state and will continue whether or not Vancouver Energy is built.

The letter presented a false choice of windmills versus oil trains -- we need both. Cars, trucks, buses and jets don't run on wind. Petroleum fuels keep us moving and keep our economy strong.

Smith also asserted falsely that Vancouver Energy crude oil would go overseas. Instead, Midwest oil will go to West Coast refineries to create products we need, reduce crude imports by 30 percent, and enhance U.S. energy independence...

Read the full letter to the editor in The Olympian
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