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Not all the job numbers are gloomy, say Washington state executives

While the most recent monthly jobless numbers from Washington are not whoop-worthy, the economy is not totally in the tank.

The post below summarizes the key data, including that Washington state lost a net 700 jobs in May.

Still, the May 2011 unemployment rate is 0.5 percent less than the May 2010 rate of 9.6 percent, according to the state Employment Security Department summary.

The other upbeat item: Robert Half International, a staffing company with offices across the country, noted that 11 percent of executives in Washington anticipate hiring full-time staff in the third quarter.

The survey also said about 98 percent of the execs surveyed expressed “confidence in their companies' growth” for the coming rest of the year. More than 4,000 executives nationwide were surveyed, and 65 were in Washington state, according to a Robert Half press release.

The state's largest employment drops in May came in wholesale trade, which recorded a loss of 2,100 jobs. Other areas that suffered included retail trade (down 1,600), financial activities (down 900) and transportation (down 600).

Leisure and hospitality recorded a large increase in jobs, adding 3,200 positions. The professional and business services sector added 900 jobs while construction employment was up 700.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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