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Northwest States In Top 10 Nationally For Job Growth Over Past Year

Washington State Department of Employment Security
Washington state's jobless rate dipped to 5.3 percent in June.

Washington, Idaho and Oregon have all placed in the top ten nationally for job growth over the past year.

Washington state labor economist Paul Turek said payroll employment has risen in Washington for 16 consecutive months.

"When compared with other states last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Washington's annual job growth ranked second in the nation behind Utah,” he said.

Idaho and Oregon were close behind, ranked fourth and sixth best in the nation respectively in percentage job growth, year-over year as of May.

Meanwhile, the Washington state unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a point in June. Turek said the latest state number of 5.3 percent matches the national jobless rate.

Oregon reported its latest jobs numbers Tuesday. The statewide unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 5.5 percent. That did not surprise the Oregon Employment Department. Its economist attributed it to the annual influx of recent graduates and students on break looking for summer jobs.

Idaho reports its June jobs numbers on Friday. Its state unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in May.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.