Wash. unemployment rate increases to 9.2 percent - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. unemployment rate increases to 9.2 percent

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington's unemployment rate made a slight increase to 9.2 percent in August, up from July's revised rate of 8.9 percent.

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The state lost an estimated 8,000 nonagricultural jobs last month, a turnaround from the gain of 11,800 jobs in July.

More than 319,000 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in August, according to the state Employment Security Department.

Washington state's unemployment rate is lower than the national rate, which was 9.7 percent for August.

Latest numbers show recession still very real

The national unemployment rate jumped last month to 9.7 percent.

That's a 26-year high and discouraging news amid signs the economy is poised for a turnaround.

The White House has expected unemployment to top out around 10 percent but says there are other signs the economy is turning around.

Though 216,000 Americans lost their jobs the White House points out that the loss numbers have been getting smaller.

"We have not question been through a terrible situation but the trajectory is certainly in the right direction," said Christina Romer, a White House Council of Economic advisor.

President Obama has repeatedly said as the economy turns around jobs numbers will slowly follow. With unemployment creeping toward 10 percent, economists say a slow turn-around isn't much help.

"We need to create at least 100,000 jobs per month, probably a little bit more than that, to bring unemployment down and we're now losing a quarter million so we've got a long ways to go," said economist Mark Zandi.

The administration is counting on positive economic growth within the next six months. >>More

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