Revenue forecast shows $1.6 billion shortfall; state unemployment rate inches up in January

The state’s economic woes continued, with yesterday’s revenue forecast showing a much-feared lower rate of tax collections, as well as news that Washington’s unemployment rate went up last month.
According to the report, Washington’s tax revenues are projected to drop $247 million by July 2003 below levels predicted just three months ago.
The total two-year revenue forecast for 2001-2003 is $21 billion.
This leaves a budget shortfall of $1.6 billion.
Meanwhile, Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.1 percent to 7.5 percent in January, while the manufacturing sector lost 31,900 jobs, Employment Security Commissioner Sylvia Munday announced yesterday.
The national recession has hit the Pacific Northwest harder than the rest of the nation, with Washington having one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
The unemployment rate in the United States is 5.6 percent.