WA faces nearly $1.4B deficit but the jobless rate falls to 9% - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA faces nearly $1.4B deficit but the jobless rate falls to 9%

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The state's chief economist says that the state has taken in $12 million less than expected since September, and that revenues are projected to drop by $122 million over the next two years.

In his latest revenue forecast Thursday, Arun Raha said that if $91 million in reserves are used, the state will face a nearly $1.4 billion deficit, up from the previously projected $1.3 billion. If those reserves aren't used, that deficit climbs to $1.6 billion.

Problems in Europe could the problem worse, he said. State lawmakers return to the Capitol on Nov. 28 to consider approximately $2 billion in cuts to state programs for the budget through 2013.

Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to release her budget proposal on Monday suggesting cuts, as well as a revenue package.

However, on a good note; Washington's jobless rate has dropped to 9 percent. The state Employment Security Department says 4,600 jobs were added in October.

The rate compares with a revised figure of 9.2 percent for September and 9.4 percent in October of last year in the state.

The national jobless rate also is 9 percent.

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