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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Business

More jobs in Spokane, but jobless rate inches up

From staff reports

The unemployment rate for the Spokane area crept up in July, but the number of people working also rose, state officials reported. As a regional hub, Spokane is drawing workers from other areas, and most are finding jobs.

The unemployment rate for the area that covers Spokane, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties was at 6.8 percent in July, up from 6.5 percent in June. Most of the losses were at schools and colleges that reduce staffs in the summer but rehire in the fall, said Doug Tweedy, regional economist for the Employment Security Department.

But the area added some 8,200 jobs in the last year. Most are in the service area, with an increase in retail, hospitality and food service jobs that may be tied to more people coming to Spokane to shop for back-to-school clothes and supplies, Tweedy said.

The growth is across many sectors, and the Spokane area is becoming more diversified, he said.

“Both unemployment and employment are going up as job growth attracts more people into the labor market,” Tweedy said. “Not all of them find jobs right away.”

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