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County Unemployment Picture Improves

Rate drops from 10.4 to 9.6 percent

October's unemployment numbers show that the employment picture improved a bit for Klickitat County, and the county no longer claims the highest unemployment rate in the state.

Preliminary figures from the Washington State Employment Security Department show Klickitat County with a 9.6 percent unemployment rate for October. In September, the rate was 10.4 percent. A year ago, in October 2001, the county's unemployment rate was 11.6 percent.

The county with the highest unemployment in the state for October was Cowlitz County, with 10.3 percent unemployment.

Skamania County registered 8.2 percent unemployment in October, an improvement over its 9.0 percent rate for September. The other counties bordering Klickitat County fared quite well: Yakima County showed 6.3 percent unemployment in October, while Benton County was at 5.3 percent.

Rural Whitman County had the lowest rate in Washington: 2.0 percent.

Across the Columbia River in Hood River County, the unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent for October, its lowest point for 2002.

Statewide, the October numbers showed Washington with 6.7 percent unemployment, the same rate as in September.

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