For the first time since May of 2014, the Washington state unemployment rate dropped just below the national average.

The seasonally adjusted average fell to 5.4 percent, just below the national average of 5.5, which rose slightly.

According to officials, the rate in the Seattle-Everett area was at 4.1.  The largest gain sectors were:

Professional and business services with 19,500 new jobs;

·         Construction with 19,400 new jobs;
·         Education and health services with 16,100 new jobs;
·         Retail trade with 14,600 new jobs; and
·         Government with 11,500 new jobs.
 The mining and logging industry lost over 400 jobs between May 2014 and 2015,  part of five sectors -including government- that lost jobs.  Eight sectors gained jobs in the last year.
 The biggest gaining sectors included:
·         Retail trade with 2,900 new jobs;
·         Education and health services with 2,200 new jobs; and
·         Wholesale trade with 1,900 new jobs.
 However, these rates do not include those who have dropped out of the workforce due to lack of success in finding a job, or those who's unemployment benefits have been exhausted.