Unemployment rates in Washington, Oregon fall

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Washington state’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in March, the lowest rate in more than four years, but the state still saw a net loss of 5,500 jobs from the prior month, according to numbers released Wednesday.

Oregon’s unemployment rate continues to inch lower, hitting 8.2 percent last month, as employers continues to add jobs, state officials said Tuesday.

Washington state’s jobless rate had been at 7.5 percent for three months, but with the newest dip it’s the lowest rate since December 2008, according to the state Employment Security Department. Earlier this year, state economists had reported that new numbers showed the state gained 24,200 jobs for the month of January and 5,500 for the month of February.

Oregon’s unemployment rate is the lowest since October 2008, when the nation was dropping into a severe recession that eventually uprooted 147,700 jobs in the state, The Oregonian reported. The rate that fall was 7.7 percent.

A slow recovery followed, and Oregon’s unemployment rate ricocheted between 8.4 percent and 8.9 percent for the past year.

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