Wash. unemployment rate drops below 8 percent

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by Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM

OLYMPIA, Wash.  -- Washington state's unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent last month, the first time it's been below 8 percent since January 2009.

The state's Employment Security Department said Wednesday that the drop from October's 8.2 percent rate was the largest one-month decline in more than three decades.

The state saw a net gain of 1,600 jobs in November, and industries that saw the most job gains included retail trade, construction, leisure and hospitality and transportation. Losses were seen in government, with state agencies losing an estimated 900 jobs and public higher education seeing a decline of 1,000 jobs.

An estimated 270,000 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work last month, including nearly 136,000 who claimed unemployment benefits in November.

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