Washington jobless rate falls to 9.2%

The Bellingham Business Journal

For the first time in more than three years, the unemployment rate in Washington dropped from 9.5 percent in March to 9.2 percent in April.

The last time the unemployment rate declined was March 2007, when the rate moved from 4.5 percent to 4.4 percent, a record low in Washington. Since then, the rate has stayed the same or increased for 36 straight months.

“This is further evidence that our economy is starting to turn around and is headed in the right direction,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said.  “The job growth is especially welcome news for job seekers.”

With the addition of 5,800 jobs in April, Washington has added jobs in three of the first four months of 2010, for a net gain of 14,800 jobs so far this year. Year over year, however, Washington had 48,400 fewer jobs last month than in April 2009, a 1.7 percent decrease. Nationally, employment declined by 1.7 percent over the past year.

An estimated 306,692 people (not seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in April and more than 277,000 people received unemployment benefits from Washington.

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