Washington to release jobless numbers for May

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington state is releasing new jobless numbers, and officials hope private-sector growth can continue to push the unemployment rate down.

The May figures to be released Wednesday morning are some of the most closely watched measures of the state's economic health. Washington's seasonally-adjusted jobless rate hasn't been at 9 percent or below in more than two years and has trended as high as 10 percent.

The Employment Security Commission reported last month that the state had a 9.1 percent unemployment rate in April. Officials say private-sector job growth has helped push down the jobless rate, but forecasters say the slow economic recovery remains fragile.