Washington’s unemployment rate drops to 9.8% amid COVID-19

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say Washington state added 71,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate dropped from 15.1% to 9.8%, the biggest month-to-month drop in 30 years. The state’s economy continues to be wracked by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many businesses are still closed or operating at reduced capacity. The Employment Security Department on Wednesday also announced that May’s preliminary estimated gain of 52,500 jobs was revised to a gain of 146,400 jobs. And officials said the state paid unemployment insurance benefits to 565,800 people in June, a decrease of 149,742 over the previous month.