Washington state’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent last month. December was the second month in a row with a state jobless rate below 8 percent.
U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs in August, a tepid figure that points to the economy’s persistent weakness and slowing prospects for the unemployed. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July. But that was only because more people gave up looking for jobs. People out of work are counted as unemployed only if they’re looking for a job.