Wash. unemployment rate falls to 8.1 percent

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington state's unemployment rate fell in April to 8.1 percent), despite a loss of 300 jobs last month.

Officials at the state's Employment Security Department say they are confounded by the mixed messages they are getting. Unemployment figures and job losses are calculated using two different surveys.

The survey used to calculate the unemployment rate showed an improvement from March's 8.3 percent unemployment rate. But the survey used to calculate job numbers showed a loss in employment.

Economist Dave Wallace says based on what's happened in Washington over the past few months, those job numbers are likely to be revised. Revisions concerning December numbers, for example, cut job losses from more than 10,000 to just 100. And January numbers were revised in the opposite direction.