(CBS Seattle) – Washington has reached a significant milestone on the jobless front: the state has fallen below the 7 percent mark for the first time since November of 2008.

The Washington State Employment Security Department reports the Evergreen State has dipped to 6.8 percent — a drop of 0.7 percentage points since the beginning of 2013.

According to the latest report, Washington added an estimated 4,100 jobs in May, seasonally adjusted. Meanwhile, economists revised the April job numbers downward by 2,100 jobs, from a preliminary estimated gain of 3,800 to a gain of 1,700.

Industries with the most estimated job gains in May were government, up 3,200; education and health services, up 2,500; leisure and hospitality, up 1,500; transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 600; and retail trade, up 300 jobs.

So far, Washington has regained about 79 percent (162,100) of the 205,000 jobs it lost during the recession, according to state officials.

According to statesmanjournal.com, Oregon’s unemployment rate has dropped below the 8 percent mark for the first time in nearly five years. A new report shows Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in May and revised to 7.9 percent for April, state employment officials said Tuesday. Oregon’s jobless rate has inched down for 48 months.

At its highest point in the recession, in May and June of 2009, Oregon’s unemployment rate soared to 11.6 percent.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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