Washington’s unemployment rate falls

OLYMPIA – Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3 percent in March. According to the Employment Security Department, the rate had been 7.5 percent for the last three months. The new rate is the lowest rate seen since December 2008.

In a news release, the March numbers showed mixed results -- education and health services, manufacturing, retail and construction industries saw gains while government, professional and business services saw losses.

“We’ve seen a lot of volatility in the job-survey results, but the trend over the past year shows we’re gaining jobs,” Anneliese Vance-Sherman, a labor economist with Employment Security said. “The unemployment rate survey has been more stable, showing a slow but steady drop in the unemployment rate.”

The Employment Security Department said an estimated 254,000 people (seasonally adjusted) were unemployed and looking for work in March.

In the month of February, county employment rates (not seasonally adjusted) varied from 5.6 percent in King County to 14.1 percent in Pend Oreille County in northeastern Washington.