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Unemployment rate falls as jobs jump in December

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WENATCHEE — Bustle in local tourism and construction trades helped bring more jobs and lower unemployment to Chelan and Douglas counties in December, the state Employment Security Department reported last week.

Job increases in most sectors in the two-county area showed moderate to substantial jumps in December, pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.5 percent, a 0.9-percent drop from the same month one year ago.

December was the 29th straight month of decline or no change for the jobless rate in Chelan and Douglas counties.

Percentage-wise, construction led all sectors with an 11.8 percent gain (200 jobs), followed by tourism with a 7.8 percent jump (400 jobs) over December 2012. Retail posted a 5 percent increase (300 jobs).

The state-government sector showed the sharpest decline, dropping 25 percent (300 jobs) as season-end temporary jobs on state lands wrapped up. Statewide, the number of state government jobs increased year-over-year in the last 17 months, reported the Employment Security Department.


Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business or follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.