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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Washington state unemployment rate falls to 5.6% in February

 (Associated Press)

Washington’s unemployment rate fell to 5.6% in February as the state added 23,500 jobs, according to preliminary seasonally adjusted data from the Washington state Employment Security Department.

The leisure and hospitality sector posted the greatest number of job gains, with 12,700 in February, followed by professional and business services with 2,500, and education and health services with 2,400, according to the ESD.

“The easing of restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19 is helping those in leisure and hospitality regain jobs,” Paul Turek, economist for the department, said in a statement. “But hiring was also widespread across other industries, and the unemployment rate moved down accordingly.”

The state’s unemployment rate was 6% in January. The state’s preliminary estimated gain of 4,000 jobs in January was revised to 10,100 jobs, according to the ESD.

The number of unemployed people dropped from 228,600 in January to 215,900 in February. The national unemployment rate was 6.2% in February.