Jobless rate in Washington increased to 5.1% in March

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s unemployment rate increased to 5.1% last month and the state’s economy lost more than 11,000 jobs, though officials noted that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the workforce isn’t likely to be fully reflected until the April report is released next month. March’s rate jumped from 3.8% in February, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Employment Security Department. The rate for April could be even higher since the widespread closing of restaurants and other businesses didn’t occur until mid-March. The national unemployment rate for March was 4.4 percent, and the rate in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett region was 5.5 percent.