Unemployment hit an all time high this year in Washington

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by KREM.com/Othello Richards

KREM.com

Posted on December 27, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Spokane – The number of people in Washington State receiving unemployment help has nearly doubled in the past two years.

Eric Robson has been unemployed for nearly a year.  On Monday he was at WorkSource Spokane to continue the job hunt.

“I’ve looked for work doing just about anything.  I do construction so it doesn’t really matter,” he told us.

According to a new report, the state’s Employment Security Department expects more than 500,000 people will have collected unemployment benefits by the end of 2010.  That’s compared to 290,000 people two years ago.

Robson knows he’s not alone.

“I have to wait in line just to cash my check every Wednesday because there are so many people there just to cash their checks,” he says.

The department says the state expects to pay nearly $5-billion in unemployment benefits this year.  Two years ago it paid a little more than $1-billion.

Tommy Gilbert says he recently moved his family to Spokane from Atlanta, seeking more job opportunities.  He says his wife found work as a speech pathologist.  He is still looking, but is also looking on the bright side.

“In my case, I have been able to spend a lot of time with my family,” said Gilbert.

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