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Washington unemployment estimated at 7 percent in April

Washington state’s unemployment rate is continuing its recent decline, hitting an estimated 7 percent in April — the lowest point the jobless rate has been at since December 2008, according to the state’s Employment Security Department.

The state added an estimated 3,800 jobs in April, seasonally adjusted. Economists also revised the March job numbers upward by nearly 4,000 jobs, from a preliminary estimated loss of 5,500 to a loss of 1,600.

“The labor market is continuing to improve at a moderate but accelerating rate, somewhat faster than the nation,” said Scott Bailey, a state labor economist, in a press release.

Industries with the most estimated job gains in April were retail trade, up 3,800; leisure and hospitality, up 1,600; professional and business services, up 1,500; other services, up 600; manufacturing, up 400; and financial activities, up 300 jobs.

Industries showing the most job losses last month included education and health services, down 2,500; construction, down 1,100; transportation, warehousing and utilities, down 500; and wholesale trade, down 300.

So far, Washington has regained about 78 percent (160,100) of the 205,000 jobs it lost during the recession.

In April, an estimated 243,100 people (seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work. That includes 130,792 who claimed unemployment benefits last month.

Also in April, 3,230 unemployed workers ran out of unemployment benefits, bringing the total to 138,997 since extended benefits were activated in July 2008.

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