Washington's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched higher in March, even as the state added 1,100 jobs, according to the Employment Security Department.
The jobless rate increased to 9.2 percent last month from 9.1 percent in February. March unemployment data for Pierce and Thurston counties will be released Tuesday.
Dave Wallace, Employment Security Department’s acting chief economist, said he expected to see the state’s labor force continue to grow in the coming months, which would likely lead to a corresponding rise in unemployment figures, at least temporarily, as people who had stopped looking for work resumed their job search.
Of the state’s 11 industry groupings, six showed job gains last month and five shed jobs, the data show. Leading the way for industries that added jobs was professional and business services with 2,700, while construction lost the most jobs in March, down 2,400.
Wallace said he was pleased with the trend in job growth.
Since March 2010, the state has added an estimated 33,000 jobs. About 340,325 people were unemployed last month, and 228,911 received jobless benefits.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.