Washington unemployment rate up slightly at 9.3 percent - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington unemployment rate up slightly at 9.3 percent

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington's unemployment rate inched up slightly to 9.3 percent in September, compared with the August rate of 9 percent.

It's the second straight month of employment declines, after job figures rose during July.

State officials say more than 312,000 people were unemployed and looking for work last month.

Washington's unemployment rate remains lower than the national figure, which was 9.8 percent in September.

National jobless rate reaches 9.8 percent in September

The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September as employers cut more jobs than expected, evidence that the longest recession since the 1930s is still inflicting widespread pain.

The Labor Department says the nation's economy lost a net total of 263,000 jobs last month, up from a downwardly revised total of 201,000 in August.

That's above Wall Street economists' expectations of 180,000 job losses, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. The unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent in August, matching expectations.

If laid-off workers who have settled for part-time work or have given up looking for new jobs are included, the unemployment rate rose to 17 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.

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