Washington Unemployment Rate Hits Five Year Low - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington Unemployment Rate Hits Five Year Low

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Washington state's unemployment rate is 6.4%, the lowest it has been in more than five years. Washington state's unemployment rate is 6.4%, the lowest it has been in more than five years.

SEATTLE, WA - Washington state's unemployment rate is 6.4%, the lowest it has been in more than five years.

The state Employment Security Department says Washington state added 3,800 jobs between December and January.

Washington's unemployment rate is below the national rate of 6.6% for January. Washington's adjusted rate for December was 6.7%.

The state says the strongest growth was in private sector jobs. Over the past year, the private sector has added 58,700 jobs, while government jobs have grown by an estimated 2,700 jobs. The January 2013 unemployment in Washington was 7.3%.

Washington's unemployment rate rose as high as 10.2% at the start of 2010 but has been falling steadily ever since. The state says some 222,000 people are still looking for work.

The State Employment Department says Oregon's jobless rate is now at 7% after dropping for more than four years. The unemployment rate was 7.1% in December and 7% in January.

The agency says employment gains in January were modest, with small increases in the construction and leisure and hospitality sectors, and a small decrease in government payrolls.

But, the Employment Department says, job growth in the past year has approached the 3% rate of the Oregon economy before the Great Recession.

Job numbers since January 2013 rose by 44,000, or 2.6%. The numbers are for seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment.

The Employment Department says job growth in the boom years 1993 to 1997 was close to 4%.

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