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Joblessness in July was lower than a year ago in 31 of Washington state’s 39 counties, according to Employment Security Department data released Tuesday.

King County’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent last month, down from 5.2 percent in June and 7.5 percent in July 2012. Pierce County’s rate declined to 8.3 percent from 8.4 percent in June and 9.0 percent a year ago.

In Snohomish County, joblessness fell a tenth of a percentage point over the month to 5.6 percent. That represents a decline of almost three full percentage points from a year ago, when the measure stood at 8.4 percent.

Unemployment increased over the past 12 months in Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Lincoln, and San Juan counties. The unemployment rate was unchanged from a year ago in Adams, Grant and Jefferson counties.

The county unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted for month-to-month fluctuations and are based on a household survey. They do not include discouraged workers who have dropped out of the labor force or who have not looked for a job in the past month.

As previously reported, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.9 percent last month, up from 6.8 percent in June.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com. On Twitter: @amyemartinez