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Originally published Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 10:41 AM

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Wash. jobless rate drops to 6.8 percent in May

Washington state's unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent last month.

The Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Washington state's unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent last month.

Numbers released Wednesday by the state Employment Security Department also show that in addition to a decrease from April's 7 percent rate, the state added an estimated 4,100 jobs in May. Economists say that the state's jobless rate has fallen by .7 percentage points since the start of the year, and that the state has regained more than 162,000 of the 205,000 jobs it lost during the recession.

Industries that saw the most job gains in May included government, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Manufacturing, professional and business services, and other services saw the most losses, along with construction.

Nearly 237,000 people were unemployed and looking for work last month, including more than 119,000 who claimed unemployment benefits.

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