Washington unemployment levels off at 9.1 percent - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington unemployment levels off at 9.1 percent

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SPOKANE, Wash. - After rising sharply in the first three months of this year Washington's unemployment rate leveled off in April.

The state Employment Security Department reports a rate of 9.1 percent, the same as the revised rate for March.

That compares with a national rate of 8.9 percent. A year ago, the rate in Washington was 4.9 percent.

The last time the rate stayed the same from month to month was in December 2007 to January 2008.

"We don't know what the future holds, but for now it's great to see our unemployment rate holding steady," said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee.

Out of a work force of more than 3.5 million in the state, 322,000 were unemployed and looking for work in April, with about 217,000 receiving unemployment benefits.

Laid-off workers can apply for unemployment benefits by calling 1-800-318-6022. 

In addition to training programs, unemployed workers can get help looking for work at Employment Security's affiliated WorkSource offices across the state, where a variety of employment services are offered, including free help with interviewing skills or résumés and with job referrals.  WorkSource offices are listed online at www.go2worksource.com.

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