unemployment rate

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If you think the economy is getting stronger, it's not your imagination.

Washington state’s unemployment rate has dropped again, to 5.4 percent.

That’s a level not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis, and it’s slightly better than the US unemployment rate.

Paul Turek is the state’s labor economist.

He says though the jobless rate is good, it is still not where we were in the boom times before the recession.

Oregon's unemployment rate rose slightly in May to 5.3 percent. That’s up from 5.2 percent in April.

According to the Oregon Employment Department, the rate was still lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in May.

The rate in Oregon is near the lowest it’s been during the last 40 years.

Nick Beleiciks is a state employment economist.

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Oregon's unemployment rate has fallen below the national average and it's the first time that's happened in 19 years.

The last year has been good to Oregon's economy.

The unemployment rate has plummeted from more than 7 percent to 5.4 percent. That's one-tenth of a percentage point below the national average.

State economist David Cooke said the last time Oregon had a lower unemployment rate than the nation, was in 1996, the height of the dot-com boom.

According to the monthly update released Wednesday by Washington's Employment Security Department, the state’s unemployment rate stayed flat in February.

The Washington and Oregon employment departments have closed the book on 2014 with the release of their December jobs numbers.

Credit Washington Employment Security Department / Northwest News Network

Job growth stalled during September in Oregon and Washington according to new numbers from the respective state employment departments. In Washington's case, state labor economist Paul Turek is not too concerned though by one month of flat hiring.

"Put it in context of what has been happening in the labor market. We seem to be sustaining momentum. Every now and then we have a little blip," Turek said.

Turek announced Washington's unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 5.7 percent in September.

Idaho's Jobless Rate Drops As The Workforce Shrinks

Sep 19, 2014
Nancy / Flickr

Idaho was one of 15 states that saw its jobless rate decline in August.

Jodi Green / Flickr

The latest reading on unemployment in Washington state shows the rate holding steady in August at 5.6 percent. That's half a percentage point below the national rate according to a report from Washington's employment department Wednesday. 


Tom Magliery / Flickr

Washington state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in July, the lowest rate since August 2008.