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King County had the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the state last month, according to data released Wednesday by the state Employment Security Department.

The jobless rate in Washington’s most populous county, with nearly a third of the state’s labor force, was 6.3 percent, down from 6.5 percent in October. It was 7.5 percent a year earlier.

However, the county’s total labor force — people reporting they have jobs plus people saying they were out of work — was about 3,200 smaller than it was a year ago, indicating that many people have yet to resume actively looking for work.

Kitsap and Snohomish counties also had unemployment rates below the statewide average of 7.3 percent (not adjusting for seasonal variations in labor markets). Kitsap was at 6.5 percent and Snohomish was 6.9 percent.

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Pierce County’s jobless rate, however, was above the statewide average at 7.9 percent.

Whitman County had the lowest unemployment last month, at 5.2 percent. Lewis County was highest, at 11.5 percent.

Drew DeSilver: 206-464-3145 or

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