Washington state added an estimated 800 jobs in February and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent from January's revised rate of 9.2 percent.
The big gainer in February was the construction industry, which added an estimated 3,900 jobs. Other industries that grew last month were government, up 1,700; and leisure and hospitality, with an increase of 1,600 jobs.
Growth in the public sector is attributed primarily to military jobs and higher education.
Jobs were lost in retail trade, down 1,500; wholesale trade jobs declined by 1,400; financial activities had a decline of 1,300 jobs; professional and business services were down 1,300; and transportation, warehousing and utilities jobs declined by 400.
Since February 2010, Washington has added an estimated 31,100 private-sector jobs, while losing an estimated 3,200 public-sector jobs.
An estimated 341,865 people (not seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work last month, and 234,695 people received unemployment benefits from Washington in February.