(AP, Olympia) The state’s unemployment rate remained relatively steady at 9.5 percent last month as Washington employers added about 1,600 jobs, state officials announced Tuesday.

The jobless rate was slightly higher than February’s revised rate of 9.4 percent. February’s rate was originally listed at 9.5 percent, but it was later revised lower.

(AP, Olympia) The state’s unemployment rate remained relatively steady at 9.5 percent last month as Washington employers added about 1,600 jobs, state officials announced Tuesday.

The jobless rate was slightly higher than February’s revised rate of 9.4 percent. February’s rate was originally listed at 9.5 percent, but it was later revised lower.

Several industries added jobs, with the biggest gains in professional and business services, which gained 1,500. Retail trade gained 500 jobs, as did leisure and hospitality. Government gained 400 jobs and wholesale trade added 300, as did transportation, warehousing and utilities. Information was also up by 300 jobs, and mining and logging gained 200.

Construction lost about 1,400 jobs in March, and the financial activities sector was down 700. Education and health services lost 300 jobs.

Because the unemployment rate is based on the number of people who are actively looking for work, the rate doesn’t include those who have stopped searching.

Nearly 348,000 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work in March, and more than 291,000 people received unemployment benefits.

Washington state had 67,800 fewer jobs last month than in March 2009, a 2.4 percent decrease. Nationally, employment declined 1.8 percent over the past year.

The national unemployment rate for March was 9.7 percent.

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