Unemployment Rate Holds Steady In Washington, Dips In Oregon

Mar 19, 2014

The unemployment rate in Washington state is holding steady at 6.4 percent, according to February’s numbers released Wednesday by the state Employment Security Department.

State labor economist Paul Turek says an economy in growth mode is luring discouraged jobseekers off the sidelines and swelling the labor pool.

"The labor market was able to sufficiently absorb the new numbers that entered into the labor force in terms of providing some jobs for them. So it is positive, even though the unemployment rate did not drop and stayed constant,” said Turek.

Turek says Washington employers have added 15,000 jobs statewide over the past three months. 

In Oregon, the unemployment rate was pegged below 7 percent for the first time since 2008. New numbers released on Tuesday put Oregon's jobless rate at 6.9 percent in February, down one-tenth of a point from January.