OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s unemployment rate dipped to 5.9 percent in March — the first drop in several months.

The state Employment Security Department estimates that employment increased by 100,900 jobs from March 2014 to March 2015, with 88,900 new jobs in the private sector and 12,000 in government.

The drop followed several months of increasing or steady unemployment rates in Washington. The state’s unemployment rate in January and February was 6.3 percent, while the national unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.

The number of unemployed people looking for work in the past month was 209,500 in march, down from 221,900 in February.

The construction industry led the way with 18,500 new jobs, followed by professional and business services with 17,700 new jobs, and education and health services with 13,200 new jobs.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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