Washington’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 to 4.5 percent in May, establishing a new record low for unemployment.

According to the state Employment Security Department, the rate is the lowest since comparable record-keeping began in 1976.

 “Today’s great news demonstrates that our state’s economy is stronger than ever. When businesses add new jobs that creates more opportunities for workers, which ultimately benefits all Washingtonians,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “We must continue to ensure that people in every corner of the state enjoy economic growth and prosperity.”

Washington added 2,000 nonfarm jobs in May. The department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary jobs estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its May Monthly Employment Report.

In May last year, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. The national unemployment rate was 4.3 percent this May.

The state’s labor force was virtually unchanged at 3.69 million in May — decreasing by 100 people from the previous month. However, from May 2016 through May 2017, the state’s labor force grew by 59,100.

“The economic trend moving forward is positive,” said Dale Peinecke, commissioner for the department. “Businesses needing skilled workers and people looking for their next job should take advantage of the services and opportunities available through their local WorkSource career centers.”