Wash. sees first monthly job gains since Nov. 2008 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. sees first monthly job gains since Nov. 2008

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington state saw an increase in jobs in January, the first monthly gain in employment here since November 2008.
     
While an estimated 12,400 jobs were added, the unemployment rate remained relatively flat, slightly increasing to an estimated 9.3 percent from December's revised rate of 9.2 percent.
     
But the increase in jobs added in the state is a "positive sign," says Gov. Chris Gregoire.
     
The industries that saw the greatest increases included retail trade, up 3,000 jobs, educational and health services, up 2,800, and construction, which gained 2,700 jobs.
     
About 360,000 people were still looking for work in January, and more than 305,000 people received unemployment benefits.

Gov. Gregoire's statement on recent job numbers

Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement on the report that Washington state added an estimated 12,400 jobs – the first monthly gain since November 2008:

"This is great news for Washington state, and yet another sign that our economy is on the rebound.

"I have, and will continue to work closely with both state and federal leaders to develop ideas and strategies to spur job creation. Those efforts are paying off. The uptick in construction jobs is especially encouraging given how hard that industry has been hit during this recession.

"While today's news is positive, we aren't in the clear yet. That's why I continue to urge our legislators to move forward with my 10-point job creation plan that will create even more opportunities for people to earn a regular, living-wage paycheck. By investing in our workforce and local companies, I am confident job growth will continue and Washington state will achieve a full economic recovery."

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