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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane County unemployment rate drops to 5.2 percent

May 23, 2017 Updated Tue., May 23, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Spokane County’s unemployment rate fell in April to 5.2 percent, down from 6.2 percent in March and one year ago. (Washington Employment Security Department)
Spokane County’s unemployment rate fell in April to 5.2 percent, down from 6.2 percent in March and one year ago. (Washington Employment Security Department)

Spokane County’s unemployment rate fell in April to 5.2 percent – a full percentage point below the rate one month earlier.

It’s the lowest monthly jobless rate in the county since 2007, during the last growth cycle, said Doug Tweedy, regional economist for the Washington Employment Security Department.

Some parts of the state are experiencing spot labor shortages due to the high employment picture. The unemployment rate in King County hit an ultra-low 2.8 percent in April, and was 3.1 percent in Snohomish County.

“We do still have a good labor pool for employers” in Spokane County, Tweedy said.

The county typically has a higher unemployment rate than other metro areas because it functions as a regional jobs hub, Tweedy said.

“As young adults graduate, they look at Spokane as a large job opportunity location. So they come here in search of work, which increases our labor force,” he said.

He also noted this summer looks especially good for young adults looking for a seasonal job. “It’s still not too late” to find work, Tweedy said.

Unemployment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted because the sample size is too small to accommodate that additional analysis. The statewide rate, which is seasonally adjusted, was 4.3 percent in April, down from 4.8 percent in March.

The April unemployment rates for other northeastern Washington counties were: Whitman (3.9 percent), Lincoln (4.5 percent), Adams (5.2 percent), Stevens (7.8 percent), Pend Oreille (7.8 percent) and Ferry (10.7 percent).

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