March 2, 2010 in Business

January job losses up in Spokane County

By The Spokesman-Review

Washington employment numbers continued to fall in January, although there was a small gain if adjusted for seasonal variation.

Spokane County was among those shedding jobs, more than 4,500 compared with December, which lifted the unemployment rate to 10.6 percent.

Since January 2009, almost 9,500 jobs have been erased.

But Labor Market Analyst Doug Tweedy said seasonal jobs losses are normally highest in January. February should be better, he said, noting job posting at the Spokane Worksource Center increased 60 percent to 1,496 compared with January.

Also, he said, initial claims from unemployment benefits declined substantially from December to January.

The county unemployment rate last reached double digits in March 2009, where it crested at 10.3 percent.

The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate for January was 9.7 percent. For Washington, it was 9.3 percent, thanks to the addition of 12,400 jobs during the month.

But unadjusted, the state rate touched 10.2 percent, and the number of employed fell by almost 15,000. The state has shed almost 64,000 jobs in the last year.

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