Washington unemployment rate drops to 4.6 percent

Nebraska's preliminary unemployment rate dropped another tenth of a point in April, hitting 3 percent after dropping to 3.1 percent in March and 3.2 percent in February, the state's Labor Department said in a report Friday.

April unemployment rate estimates for other states in the region were 2.8 percent in New Hampshire, 3.1 percent in Vermont, 3.9 percent in MA, 4.3 percent in Rhode Island, and 4.9 percent in CT.

Shelby County in metro Birmingham has the state's lowest unemployment rate at 3.3 percent.

April also saw the Charleston area lose its spot as the state's fastest-growing job market.

The last time the unemployment rate was at or below 5.4 percent was in May of 2008, when it measured 5.2 percent, according to the Alabama Department of Labor. At the start of past year, 12-month gains were around 40,000 jobs.

The state's service industries fared better in April, adding 9,400 jobs.

For the fourth straight month, the unemployment rate is down in Arkansas at 3.5 percent.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 22,400, with gains in the education and health services sector (+6,600), the professional and business services sector (+4,400), and the leisure and hospitality sector (+4,400), among others.

South Carolina's job growth slowed in April, increasing at a 1.4 percent clip.

The state has added an estimated 76,500 jobs since April 2016, with the private sector adding 61,700 jobs and the public sector gaining 14,800. IL and MI have the next lowest rate at 4.7 percent.

Year-over-year, Washington has added an estimated 76,500 new jobs. Hawaii and North Dakota had the second-lowest unemployment rates at 2.7 percent, while New Mexico had the nation's highest jobless rate at 6.7 percent, followed by Alaska at 6.6 percent.

"Through the first four months of 2017, MA has added over 20,000 jobs, with much of those gains coming from key sectors of the economy like professional, business, and scientific services", Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II said. Leading up to spring, the state was averaging more than 4,000 new jobs a month. There were 156,700 more people employed in April than a year ago in April 2016. "Starting the year at 3.8 percent, the rate has decreased one-tenth of a percentage point each month to 3.5 percent in April".

  • Zachary Reyes