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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane County’s unemployment rate increased to 7.4% in December

Laid-off workers in the state filed 14,043 new jobless claims the week ending Feb. 20, a 3.2% increase compared with the week prior, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.  (Associated Press)
Laid-off workers in the state filed 14,043 new jobless claims the week ending Feb. 20, a 3.2% increase compared with the week prior, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department. (Associated Press)

Spokane County’s nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 7.4% in December, according to the Washington state Employment Security Department.

The county shed 2,500 nonfarm jobs and 2,400 private sector jobs in December, compared with the prior month, the department reported Tuesday.

The county’s unemployment rate was 6.2% in November and 4.8% in December 2019.

Leisure and hospitality was the hardest hit sector in December with a loss of 2,700 jobs, which included 1,500 positions at restaurants and bars. The education and health services sector lost 1,000 jobs, according to ESD data.

The retail trade sector had the greatest number of jobs added in December at 800, followed by the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector, which added 400. The professional and business services sector also added 400 jobs.

The county’s labor force in December totaled 240,915 workers. There were 17,763 unemployed residents in December, an increase of 2,741 people compared with the previous month.

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