- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington state’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent last month, the first time it’s fallen below the national average since May 2014.

The latest report from the state’s Employment Security Department shows that the Washington jobless rate dropped from April’s 5.5 percent to 5.4 percent in May. The national unemployment rate for last month was 5.5 percent.

The state gained 7,700 jobs from April to May - all in the private sector.

The latest report from Washington estimates the state gained 111,500 jobs in the past year on a not seasonally adjusted basis. About 100,000 of those jobs were in the private sector.

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