The state gained an estimated 13,200 jobs in January, driving the unemployment rate down to 8.3 percent from 8.6 percent the month before.
According the state Employment Security Department, state figures show most sectors were growing by thousands of jobs last month, including professional and business services, retail trade, and education and health services. Only government employment showed a marked decline -- the loss of 1,100 jobs.
The department also reported that new figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics have helped firm up estimates from last year showing, “Washington gained more jobs last year than previously estimated, and unemployment rates in the latter half of 2011 were slightly better than initially estimated.”
Notably, the new figures show Washington gained about 53,500 jobs in 2011.
Still, an 8.3 percent unemployment rate is too high, and Senate Democrats have consistently worked to build a long-term economic development strategy that not only jumps starts jobs today, but builds growth over the long haul.