A new federal report indicates about one and six Washington workers were underutilized because of the economy in 2011.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 17.8 percent of workers in Washington were either unemployed or working part-time for economic reasons last year. That’s down from 18.4 percent in 2010, but well above the 2007 rate of 8.8 percent.
Nationally, the underutilization rate was 15.9 percent last year.
The underutilization rate includes discouraged workers, people who aren’t looking for work because they believe no jobs were available. The BLS report estimates Washington state had about 18,000 discouraged workers in 2011.
The unemployment rate, which only includes workers who are out of work but have actively sought work in the past four weeks, was 9.4 percent in Washington last year, while the national rate was 8.9 percent for the same period.
Nevada had the highest underutilization rate last year, at 22.7 percent. Nevada was followed by California (21.1 percent), Michigan (18.8 percent) and Rhode Island (18.6 percent).
At 6.6 percent, North Dakota had the lowest underutilization rate last year. Only two other states, Nebraska and South Dakota, had a rate that was under 10 percent.