Wash. sees first monthly job gains since Nov. 2008 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wash. sees first monthly job gains since Nov. 2008

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington state saw an increase in jobs in January, the first monthly gain in employment here since November 2008.

While an estimated 12,400 jobs were added, the unemployment rate remained relatively flat, slightly increasing to an estimated 9.3 percent from December's revised rate of 9.2 percent.

But the increase in jobs added in the state is a "positive sign," says Gov. Chris Gregoire.

The industries that saw the greatest increases included retail trade, up 3,000 jobs, educational and health services, up 2,800, and construction, which gained 2,700 jobs.

About 360,000 people were still looking for work in January, and more than 305,000 people received unemployment benefits.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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