Washington's unemployment rate dipped slightly in January, but newly revised figures show that 2007 job growth was considerably less robust...

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Washington’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in January, but newly revised figures show that 2007 job growth was considerably less robust than first reported.

The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate last month stood at 4.5 percent, down a tenth of a percentage point from December’s rate, according to the state Employment Security Department’s monthly report. Washington added 5,800 nonfarm payroll jobs in January, versus a downwardly revised gain of 2,900 jobs in December.

However, the revised payroll data showed that the state gained 62,300 jobs in 2007, compared with the 77,200-job gain reported last month. The biggest drop was in the construction sector, which added just 6,600 jobs last year, rather than the 13,700 jobs previously reported.

The payroll numbers are derived from a monthly survey of employers. The Employment Security Department revises those survey-based estimates four times a year, to make sure they reflect the actual makeup of the state’s workforce as determined by wage records.

The revision also cut the reported 2007 job gains in the professional and business services sector, from 12,100 to 10,800. Financial activities swung from a 1,200-job gain to a 1,400-job loss.

On the other hand, aerospace manufacturing gained 400 more jobs than initially reported, for a 6,200-job gain. The gain in education and health services also was revised higher by 400 jobs, for a total gain of 11,500 jobs.

In the Seattle metro area, unemployment ticked up to 3.7 percent last month from 3.6 percent in December, though that’s still below both the statewide rate and the 4 percent rate posted a year earlier.

Drew DeSilver: 206-464-3145 or ddesilver@seattletimes.com