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Wash. Sees Healthy Drop In Unemployment

Tom Banse


OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington state saw a nice drop in unemployment during October. New numbers released Thursday show the state jobless rate fell to 8.2 percent. That's down three-tenths of a point from the prior month.

Washington's chief labor economist Joe Elling says the manufacturing and retail trade sectors created thousands of new jobs last month. He also says the revival of the construction industry adds to the positive picture.

"The increase in construction is consistent with what we're seeing at least on the home building side, with residential construction permits through the first three quarters of this year up about 30 percent from where we were in the same time period a year ago."

Fresh unemployment numbers for Oregon came out Wednesday. That report wasn't quite as rosy. Oregon's statewide jobless rate is holding steady, more or less, at 8.6 percent.

In Olympia, Joe Elling says he shares the concern of other economists about the potential to fall over the so-called "fiscal cliff." But Elling was hesitant to predict what effect failure to resolve the federal budget conflict would have on local jobs.

On the Web:

Washington State monthly unemployment report

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