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Washington unemployment rate drops to 4.9 percent

unemployment

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) _ Washington state’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in nine years, dropping to 4.9 percent last month.

The latest numbers released by the Employment Security Department Wednesday show that February’s rate dropped from January’s rate of 5.1 percent. February’s rate is the lowest the state has seen since March 2008. The state also added 6,100 jobs last month.

The report shows that the highest job growth was in construction and government, followed by professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. Manufacturing saw the biggest reductions last month.

The national unemployment rate was 4.7 percent last month. The unemployment rate in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area was 35 percent.

Job gains and losses are estimates based on a survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate counts the percentage of people who are unemployed and actively looking for work, and doesn’t include those who have stopped looking for work.