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Declining Unemployment Rates In Washington, Oregon Stuck In Recent Months

The state unemployment rate in Washington and Oregon was falling at a steady pace in recent years. But lately it's stuck.

The latest reading from the Washington state Employment Security Department released Wednesday pegged the state unemployment rate at 5.3 percent. That's the same it's been since June.

Oregon's jobless rate actually edged up slightly last month to 6.1 percent, as new jobseekers outpaced job creation.

Washington state labor economist Paul Turek said the unemployment rate will probably resume its decline in autumn.

"It will be interesting to see what transpires for the remainder of the year,” he said. “The expectation is that job growth will continue. It may not be as robust for instance as it has been previously, but it should be above trend.”

Idaho reports its latest jobs numbers on Friday.

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