Washington state's jobless rate may top list

Washington state may be number one, but it’s a dubious honor.

The state’s jobless rate moved up a notch again last month, to 7.4 percent, possibly the highest in the nation, the state Employment Security Department announced Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted rate for September advanced two-tenths of a point from August, when Washington edged out Oregon for the worst unemployment in the United States.

September’s numbers compare with a national unemployment rate of 5.6 percent.

A year ago, Washington’s rate was 6.6 percent, when the national rate stood at 5 percent.

September figures for other states, including Oregon and Alaska, have not yet been released.

About 205,000 of the 3.05 million people now in the work force in Washington are without jobs.

The Index will print a copy of the Employment Security Department’s report next week.