Unemployment rates for the entire state of Washington have continued an improving trend that goes back four months for several South Sound counties. Not seasonally-adjusted, the statewide jobless rate was 4.4 percent last month, compared to 5.1 percent one year ago.

Tacoma-Pierce County dropped another one-tenth of a percent in September to 4.8 percent unemployed – it was 5.2 percent in May and 6.0 percent one year ago in September 2016.

Olympia-Thurston County also reported a slight drop to 4.5 percent last month, compared to 5.9 percent in January. Last September the jobless rate was 5.5 percent in the capital city area.

Shelton-Mason County remains higher than surrounding areas at 5.8 percent unemployed and Centralia-Lewis County reports 5.7 percent for last month.

Economists with the state Employment Security Department found an increase of 13,800 new jobs in September from the month before. Estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor statistics say slightly more than have of those were in the public sector.

On a year-over-year basis in September, Washington’s private sector has added 61,400 jobs, while the government or public sector is up by 14,700 jobs.