Employment in Spokane County fell by 1,700 in May, but the unemployment rate also slipped because fewer people were job-hunting.
The Washington Employment Security Department said state employment increased by 8,600, but only because 9,000 workers were hired to help conduct the 2010 U.S. Census.
The state unemployment rate for May was 9.1 percent, matching the level of May 2009. The April rate was 9.3 percent. Those figures are adjusted to account for seasonal swings.
Unadjusted, the state rate was 8.8 percent, just below the 8.9 percent for Spokane, where the April rate was nine percent. In May 2009, the rate was 8.5 percent.