Washington's unemployment rate 9.2 per cent

Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.2 percent in August, up from July’s revised rate of 8.9 percent, according to the state Employment Security Department.

The state lost an estimated 8,000 non-agricultural jobs in August, seasonally adjusted, after a revised gain of 11,800 jobs in July.

Industries with the largest declines were in professional and business services, which cut 2,500 jobs; retail trade, down 2,400; and education and health services, which lost 1,800 jobs. Industries with the most job growth included government, with 1,800 new jobs; leisure and hospitality, which added 800; transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 700; and construction, up 200.

The small gain in construction is the first rise in that sector since January 2008. It may be due to cautious optimism within the industry, say Employment Security economists.

Year over year, Washington had 126,100 fewer jobs last month than in August 2008, a 4.2 percent decrease. Nationally, employment declined by 4.3 percent over the past year.

An estimated 319,125 people (not seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in July.

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 or resumes and with 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 12.000 current job openings are posted on http://www.go2worksource.com .