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

Spokane County jobless rate back above 9 percent

Spokane County’s unemployment rate rose in May to 9.1 percent, matching what it was one year ago. The rate had fallen in April to 8.7 percent, after hovering near 10 percent the first three months of the year, the state Employment Security Department said today. Statewide the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in May, an increase from 8.2 percent in April. Doug Tweedy, the Spokane area labor economist, said Spokane County saw a net 2,900 new jobs from April to May this year. That increase comes from a different survey than the one that tracks unemployment rate, he noted. The jobless number comes surveys at Spokane area households. Total employment numbers come from employer surveys. Between the two, Tweedy said the employment numbers (which exclude farm jobs and sole proprietorships) is a more accurate number for the Spokane area job market. County sectors seeing job growth in May were construction, manufacturing and professional-scientific-technical. The jobless increase, Tweedy said, is seasonal in part, reflecting college grads hitting the area’s job market.