Washington state jobless rate drops to 9.1 percent

May 18, 2011

Washington's jobless rate is down to 9.1 percent after the state added an estimated 5,800 jobs in April.

Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause said Wednesday that Washington is starting to see real momentum in job growth and that it's tough not to feel optimistic about the progress. The jobless rate in March was 9.2 percent.

Dave Wallace, chief economist for Washington’s Employment Security Department told the Northwest News Network:

“All in all, I’m actually feeling pretty good about this report. This is the eight months in a row that we’ve shown gains amounting to almost 39,000 jobs. So I think it’s a pretty positive, pretty strong report.”

The construction industry led the way in April, adding about 2,400 new jobs. State officials say about 2,500 government jobs were lost. About 308,000 people were unemployed and looking for work in April.

Washington has added an estimated 41,500 jobs over the past year. The unemployment rate in April 2010 was 9.8 percent.