Washington's unemployment rate falls to 9.1 percent

Washington's economy continues to show signs of improvement after the state added 5,800 jobs in April to lower its seasonally adjusted jobless rate to 9.1 percent last month from 9.2 percent in March, according to state Employment Security Department data released today.

Leading the way in job growth, for a change, was the long-suffering construction industry, which added 2,400 jobs, followed by professional and business services with 1,700 and manufacturing with 1,200 new jobs. Employment Security Chief Economist Dave Wallace said the construction jobs were created in heavy and civil engineering.

Six more industry categories showed job gains last month, while 2,500 jobs were shed in government, 800 in leisure and hospitality and 800 in a category called "other services."

Pierce and Thurston County jobless data will be released next week. Pierce County's jobless rate was 10.7 percent in March and Thurston's was 8.9 percent.