Our Northwest Economy
12:14 pm
Tue May 18, 2010

Washington, Oregon jobless pictures improve

Washington employers added 58-hundred new jobs in April, lowering the state's unemployment rate for the first time in more than three years. The Oregon jobless rate held steady at 10-point-six percent, the same as in March, making it six straight months without any significant change. But that was still nearly a point less than April 2009, when the rate was 11.5 percent.

Unemployment statewide fell to 9.2 percent from 9.5 percent reported in March. The Washington Employment Security Department's Jamie Swift says that Washington has posted a net gain of nearly 15-thousand new jobs this year.

Swift: “Seeing the unemployment rate come down finally after three long years is welcome news. It's definitely a sign that our economy is turning around.”

Sectors of the economy that added jobs included leisure and hospitality, government, construction, manufacturing and both retail and wholesale trade.

Finance, transportation and warehousing, and in professional and business services all shed jobs in April. More than 306-thousand Washingtonians remained jobless in April with 277-thousand receiving unemployment benefits. Clark, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties had the highest percentage of jobless people, each topping 12 percent. The Tri-Cities jobless percent at about 6-and-one-half percent was the state's lowest.