Unemployment & job numbers improve in October

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington state's unemployment rate has dropped to 8.2 percent.

The state Employment Security Department said Thursday that the unemployment rate fell in October as the net number of jobs grew by about 6,700 jobs last month.  September's rate was 8.5 percent. Washington's jobless rate is still higher than the national rate, which was 7.9 percent last month.

Officials say about 286,000 people were unemployed and looking for work in the state in October, with more than 124,000 claiming unemployment benefits.

Nearly 3,600 unemployed workers ran out of unemployment benefits last month. A total of 115,947 people have exhausted their benefits since extended benefits were activated in July 2008.