Our Northwest Economy
12:16 pm
Tue May 18, 2010

Washington's Jobless Rate Falls For First Time In Three Years

Washington jobless falls first time in three-plus years. Washington employers added 5,800 new jobs in April, lowering the state's unemployment rate for the first time in more than three years. Unemployment statewide fell to 9.2 percent from 9.5 percent reported in March.

The Employment Security Department's Jamie Swift says that Washington has posted a net gain of nearly 15,000 new jobs this year.

Jamie 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 306,000 Washingtonians remained jobless in April with 277,000 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 6.5 percent was the state's lowest.