Wash. employment report shows rise in job openings

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The number of job openings in Washington state grew to a three-year high in recent months, a sign that employment conditions have improved.

A report released Thursday from the Employment Security Department said there were about 60,000 vacant jobs available in April. Openings had fallen to a low point of about 32,000 in the fall of 2009.

The positive numbers are somewhat tainted by other employment figures from recent months. The unemployment rate was 9 percent in April but grew to 9.3 percent in July.

About half of the job vacancies were at companies with fewer than 50 employees. More than half the jobs required a high school diploma or had no educational requirement.