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Cowlitz County unemployment dipped nearly half a percentage point in April. The 7.3 percent rate was the county’s lowest April jobless rate since April 2007, when it was 6 percent, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Last month’s jobless rate was down from 7.7 percent in March and 7.9 percent in April 2014.

According to federal estimates, the number of employed county residents increased by 1,500 jobs during the past year, or 4 percent overall. Gains came in construction & natural resources (400 jobs), manufacturing (300 jobs), trade & transportation (400 jobs), education & health services (300 jobs), leisure & hospitality (100 jobs) and government (200 jobs).

Total employment stood at 41,330. Nealry 3,300 people were on the unemloyment rolls.

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