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Washington Adds About 7,700 Jobs in April, State Says

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May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Washington added about 7,700 jobs in April as hiring improved and fewer unemployed people looked for work, the state said.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent last month from 6.3 percent in March, the state’s Employment Security Department said in a statement. The nationwide jobless rate for April declined to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent.

“We’re moving into an expansionary phase,” said Paul Turek, a labor economist at the employment department. “There were more jobs available and more people got jobs. It’s a positive trend.”

Washington, home to technology giants Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., ranked second in improvement of economic health for the year through December, behind Nevada, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States. The index measures mortgage delinquencies, personal incomes, tax revenue, employment, home prices and stock values.

The number of people looking for work in Washington fell by 9,000 to 210,600 from March to April, while the state’s labor force grew by about 5,000 to almost 3.5 million, the employment department said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alison Vekshin in San Francisco at avekshin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net Pete Young, Jeffrey Taylor