Statewide unemployment at its lowest in 5 years

Washington’s unemployment rate dropped to an estimated 6.8%  in May, the first time under 7% since November 2008, when the rate was 6.5 percent.

In April, Grays Harbor showed the highest unemployment in the state, with 12.1%, not seasonally adjusted.

The state’s unemployment rate has fallen by 0.7 percentage points since the start of the year.

The state added an estimated 4,100 jobs in May.

“Washington’s labor market is continuing to recover and expand at a modest rate,” said Paul Turek, a labor economist for Employment Security.

Industries with the most estimated job gains in May were government, up 3,200, with most of these occurring in higher education and state government.

So far, Washington has regained about 79%, or over 162,000, of the 205,000 jobs it lost during the recession.

In May, an estimated 239,000 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. That includes 119,000 who claimed unemployment benefits.

County unemployment numbers for May are expected to be released on June 26.




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