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Washington unemployment fell in January

The unemployment rate in Washington fell to 9.1 percent in January as businesses added 11,000 workers.

The gain, adjusted for seasonality, was the best since November 2007, the Employment Security Department said today.

“It's unusual to have job gains in the middle of winter, so this is another positive sigh that the recovery is under way, department Commissioner Paul Trause said.

The unemployment rate in December was 9.3 percent.

More than one-half the added jobs _ 5,600 _ were in business and professional services. Education and health care was up 4,500, retail trade 1,500, and leisure and hospitality 1,300.

Construction employment continued to fall, losing  with 1,500 jobs subtracted in January. Manufacturing trimmed 700 positions, the government and information sectors 600 each.

Figures for each county will be released next week.

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

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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