Washington state’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent last month, an improvement that will likely shorten the number of weeks people can receive unemployment benefits.
The new rate for February was down from a revised rate of 8.4 percent in January, and marks the lowest jobless level since January 2009.
Officials said that as a result of the improvement, the maximum weeks of unemployment benefits will likely be reduced from 99 to 73 in April because federal benefits-extension programs are triggered by states’ unemployment rates.
Washington added an estimated 4,200 jobs from January to February, and saw a total gain of 54,900 jobs from February 2011 to February 2012. (AP)