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Wash. state unemployment rate lowest in 42 years

Washington state's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in 42 years in August. (Photo: KOMO News)

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington state's unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent last month - the lowest rate for August since 1976, according to a report released Wednesday by the Employment Security Department.

The report says the state's economy added 9,100 jobs in August as the unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 percent in July.

“The state data continues to demonstrate the positive trends in its economy,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “The civilian labor force is up in August, and total unemployment is down, both month-to-month and over the year.”

The monthly report shows the greatest private job growth occurred in professional and business services, which were up by 3,300, construction up by 2,900 and leisure and hospitality up by 2,200.

Washington state added an estimated 109,400 new jobs from August 2017 through August 2018. The private sector grew by 3.9 percent, up an estimated 107,200 jobs, while public sector employment increased by 0.4 percent with a net gain of 2,200 jobs.

The national unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent in August. In August 2017, the national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.

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