Washington Unemployment Drops To 8.3 Percent

Feb 29, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s economy is looking up. New numbers out Wednesday show the state’s unemployment rate is down to 8.3 percent. The January number is 0.3 percent lower than the unemployment rate for December.

Chief Labor Economist Dave Wallace says it’s a good trend.

“You’ve got to go all the way back to February of 2009, when we had a rate as low as that," Wallace says. "So you’re talking nearly three years. So we’re approaching the rate that we were prior to the recession.”

But Wallace adds that Washington’s rate of recovery is still slower than other recessions in the past.

Governor Chris Gregoire welcomed the news. She issued a statement saying that Washington is now seeing what she calls “real and consistent signs of recovery.” Oregon also saw a drop in unemployment this week, from 9.0 percent in December to 8.8 in January.

On the Web:

Washington Employment Security Dept. news release:

Oregon Employment Department news release:

Unemployment rates by state:

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