Washington’s unemployment rate fell in April for the first time in more than three years, backed by an increase of 5,800 jobs.
The rate went from 9.5 percent in March to 9.2 percent in April. The last time the unemployment rate declined was March 2007, when the rate moved from 4.5 percent to 4.4 percent, a record low in Washington. Since then, the rate has stayed the same or increased for 36 straight months.
With the April job gains, Washington has added jobs in three of the first four months of 2010, for a net gain of 14,800 jobs so far this year.
Industries that added jobs in April were leisure and hospitality, up 1,800; government, up 1,600 (mostly temporary census jobs); construction, up 1,400; retail trade, up 1,300; manufacturing, up 1,200; information, up 500; education and health services, up 300; and wholesale trade, up 100.
Jobs were lost in financial activities, down 1,400; transportation, warehousing and utilities, down 500; other services, down 300; and professional and business services, down 200.
Year over year, Washington had 48,400 fewer jobs last month than in April 2009, a 1.7 percent decrease. Nationally, employment declined by 1.7 percent over the past year.
An estimated 306,692 people (not seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work and more than 277,000 people received unemployment benefits from Washington in April.
Unemployed workers can inquire about assessment and training opportunities that are available through their local WorkSource career centers. Employment Security is a partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which offers a variety of employment and training services, including free help with interviewing skills, resumes, and job referrals.
Locations of local WorkSource offices are listed online at http://www.go2worksource.com/ . Assistance also is available by phone at 877-872-5627. In addition, more than 19,000 job openings are posted on http://www.go2worksource.com .