The number of people who have jobs is going back up in the South Sound.
The unemployment rate for Tacoma was 9.3 percent in April, less than the 10.8 percent figure reported in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday.
The rate was just slightly lower than the 9.4 percent unemployment rate in April 2009.
By comparison, the Seattle metro area (which includes Tacoma) had an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in April. Olympia had an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent.
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Nationally, the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent.
An unemployment rate of between 5 percent and 5.3 percent is typically seen as “full employment” in the United States. That’s a point at which economists say everyone who wants to work has a job.
Some prominent national economists in recent days have argued that “full employment” may be an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent to 7.5 percent.
Unless the Federal Reserve accepts that more Americans will be permanently out of work in the future, the central bank may spur inflation by waiting too long to raise its benchmark rate from its current record low, said Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital.