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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Region’s jobless rates rise as education sheds workers

Spokane County’s jobless rate in July inched up to 9 percent. June’s official unemployment rate was 8.9 percent; it was 9.1 percent in July 2010.

State employment data show Spokane County lost about 5,100 nonfarm jobs from June to July. About 800 of those lost jobs were in the private sector. The other losses, mostly related to government jobs in education, are seasonal, said Doug Tweedy, regional labor economist for the state.

In the past year, Spokane County lost 300 private-sector jobs, according to Tweedy. But three sectors – health care, manufacturing and leisure/hospitality – together saw a total gain of 1,200 jobs from July 2010 to July 2011, he said.

The jobless rate last month hit 11 percent in Stevens County, 11.6 percent in Pend Oreille County and nearly 13 percent in Ferry County.

Tom Sowa