Washington state's above-average unemployment rate hasn't budged since last December. For July, the state’s Department of Employment Security Wednesday again pegged it at 5.8 percent.

The statewide unemployment rate in Washington is not budging despite steady hiring by employers. It's stuck at 5.8 percent in the latest monthly jobs report released Wednesday by the Washington Employment Security Department.

The unemployment rate in Washington state held steady at 5.8 percent for the fourth consecutive month in March. But in its latest jobs report out Wednesday, the state employment department reported steady hiring across most of the economy.

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.

"Full employment" is a phrase economists use to explain how the job market recovers from a recession. We'll be hearing this phrase a lot as the Labor Department releases the latest jobs data on Friday. It's expected to show that employers added even more workers in January.

But the phrase doesn't tell the full story for millions of Americans either still out of work or who are looking for something better than part-time work.

What is full employment and what does it mean?

One month down, two to go.

For unemployed adults in 22 states, that's how long they can count on help with the grocery bills: Starting this January, they have three months to find a job or lose their food assistance.

SNAP benefits — formerly known as food stamps — have been tied to employment for two decades. Unless they are caring for children or unable to work, adults need to have a job to receive more than three months of benefits.

The state unemployment rate in Washington and Oregon was falling at a steady pace in recent years. But lately it's stuck.

Madeline Warrington ultimately found a job as a car saleswoman after leaving the military. It wasn't what she envisioned after eight years in the Army.
Courtesy of Madeline Warrington

In the Army you don’t get a job, you get an MOS – a military occupational specialty.

Sergeant Madeline Warrington was a 35M human intelligence collector. That meant that while she was in Iraq and Afghanistan, she gathered information on possible enemy threats.

The recovery from the Great Recession has crossed a milestone in Washington state.

According to the monthly update released Wednesday by Washington's Employment Security Department, the state’s unemployment rate stayed flat in February.

The U.S. economy added 295,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department's monthly survey, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent. The latest strong data beat expectations and follow a robust jump the previous month — a sign that the nation's economy is finally picking up steam.

The Washington and Oregon employment departments have closed the book on 2014 with the release of their December jobs numbers.

If Elkhart County, Ind. was the symbol of the recession, then Ed Neufeldt became the face of the unemployed worker.

Ross Reynolds talks with Tom Allison, policy and research manager for the Millennial advocacy group Young Invincibles, about youth employment in the United States.

The latest reading on unemployment in Washington state shows the rate holding steady in August at 5.6 percent. That's half a percentage point below the national rate according to a report from Washington's employment department Wednesday.