Washington’s unemployment rate drops to 4.5 percent

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent last month and the state added 6,900 jobs.

According to the latest numbers released Wednesday by the Employment Security Department, the October rate dropped slightly from September’s 4.6 percent rate.

The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent last month, and the rate in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area was 3.8 percent.

October’s biggest job growth was seen in professional and business services, up 4,800, and transportation, warehousing and utilities, which added 3,100 jobs. The biggest reductions were seen in education and health services, which was down 4,000 jobs.

Job gains and losses are estimates based on a survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate counts the percentage of people who are unemployed and actively looking for work, and doesn’t include those who have stopped looking for work.