Employment

The U.S. economy gained 242,000 jobs in February while average wages dropped slightly, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.

The report indicates stronger job growth than expected, and an improvement over the previous month. January's count of 151,000 new jobs — far lower than had been anticipated — was revised upward, to 172,000. And the job gains for December were also revised upward, from 262,000 to 271,000.

The U.S. economy added just 151,000 jobs in January while unemployment dropped slightly, to 4.9 percent, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economists had expected to see about 190,000 new jobs.

The unemployment rate, which has held steady at 5 percent the past few months, dropped slightly to 4.9 percent. It's the first time unemployment has fallen below 5 percent since the recession.

Reed Saxon / Associated Press

Boeing says its research and technology workforce in Washington state will probably shrink by as many as 1,200 jobs as the company shifts work to other states including Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina.

The news comes on a day when many people in Washington are waiting to hear whether Boeing will accept a preliminary contract proposal from the machinists’ union. The union is seeking to reach an agreement with the company that would guarantee production of the next 777 jet in the Puget Sound region, securing thousands of jobs.

Jonathan Cooper

It appears the going is good for the working man in the Puget Sound area. 

The Seattle metro area saw the most new jobs last month, and the second largest wage growth in recent years in spite of the financial crisis, according to new reports.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

The national economy will continue to climb out of the recession this year, and the Puget Sound region is forecast to do even better. That’s the word from an economic forecast conference in Seattle. 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has approved a $1 billion stimulus plan that seeks to get construction workers back on the job.

Boeing's payroll in Washington has risen to more than 82,000 workers.

That's up nearly 9,000 jobs since the end of 2010, and the highest Boeing employment in the state since 1999.

The News Tribune reports the company has more than regained the jobs Boeing cut after the 9-11 attacks. Companywide, Boeing employed nearly 172,000 workers at the end of February.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington lawmakers are looking at a $1 billion stimulus package to help create construction jobs.

It's often assumed that even in tough times, lawyers can find good jobs. But that proposition is being overturned by a tight legal market, and by a glut of graduates.

The nation's law schools are facing growing pressure to be more upfront about their graduates' job prospects. Many students say they were lured in by juicy job numbers, but when they got out, all they ended up with is massive debt.