Statewide unemployment drops to 6.1%

Washington’s economy flowered with increased hiring and fewer unemployed workers in April, according to preliminary, seasonally adjusted estimates by the state’s Department.

Employers in Washington added an estimated 7,700 jobs in April. So far this year, employers have added an average of 6,900 jobs each month, said Paul Turek, an Employment Security labor economist.

Also in April, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent, down from 6.3 percent in March.

“We’re moving into an expansionary phase,” Turek said. “There were more jobs available, and more people got jobs. It’s a positive trend.”

Between March and April, the number of unemployed job seekers looking for work in Washington dropped by 9,000, to 210,600. That includes almost 83,000 who claimed unemployment benefits. At the same time, the state labor force increased by about 5,000 workers, seasonally adjusted.

During the last year, Employment Security estimates that 77,600 jobs were added statewide.

In March, Grays Harbor had an unemployment rate of 11.4%. County by county unemployment numbers are scheduled to be released next week.

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