Washington’s job prospects brightened significantly in May, with an estimated net growth of 11,700 jobs, according to the state’s Employment Security Department.

The estimated unemployment rate also rose slightly, from April’s revised rate of 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent in May. In Yakima the rate was 10.6 percent last month.

Employment Security economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said the higher unemployment rate was caused primarily by more unemployed people re-entering the job market.  The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the estimated number of unemployed people who have looked for work within the past four weeks by the total civilian labor force.

“In this case, the higher unemployment rate could be a sign that people are feeling more optimistic about their chances of finding a job,” said Vance-Sherman.

As another sign of optimism, the professional and business services sector accounted for nearly half of the estimated net job growth in May, with much of it occurring in the employment-services industry.