Washington jobless rate holds steady

SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington state's unemployment rate is holding steady at 6.4 percent and remaining at the lowest point in more than five years.

The state Employment Security Department said Wednesday that the unemployment rate held firm from January to February and that Washington added 2,500 new jobs in February. They also revised the number of jobs added in January, boosting it by 2,000 for a total of 5,800 new jobs in the first month of the year.

Washington's unemployment rate is below the national rate of 6.7 percent for February.

In the past year, 54,400 jobs were added statewide. Washington's unemployment rate grew as high as 10.2 percent at the start of 2010 but has been falling steadily ever since. The state says about 220,000 people are looking for work.