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Spokane unempoyment rate climbs

Unemployment in Spokane County jumped to 10.5 percent in January from 9.1 percent in December, the Washington Employment Security Department said today.

The rate in January 2010 was 11.5 percent, said department labor economist Doug Tweedy, who noted unemployment typically peaks in January and February if not adjusted for expected seasonal variations.

About 100 government jobs were eliminated from January to January, but private employers added 800, he said.

The biggest gains were recorded in professional and technical services, where 600 jobs were added, and manufacturing and health care, which each added 100 jobs, Tweedy said.

Tweedy said job openings should begin to increase with the spring. But with increased competition for all positions, he said, now is the time for students to be looking for summer jobs. 

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.