Washington state's unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent last month. December was the second month in a row with a state jobless rate below 8 percent.
The seasonally adjusted rate for November was 7.7 percent. That was the first month since January 2009 when unemployment in Washington was below 8 percent.
The Employment Security Department cautions that the recent drops in unemployment can be tied. in part, to unemployed job seekers who have stopped looking for work.
The unemployment rate represents the percentage of the labor force that's unemployed and actively looking for work. People who quit looking for work are not counted in the unemployment rate.