The Pierce County economy still is feeling the end-of-school-year-effect as seasonal cuts in education once again bumped up the unemployment rate to 9.4 percent last month from a revised 8.8 percent jobless rate in July, a regional economist said Tuesday.
Although the school year ended in June, the seasonal change in education takes place over the summer, not just at one time, Employment Security regional economist Paul Turek said.
Still, Turek has some concerns about the local economy.
The Pierce County economy shed 2,100 jobs in the July-to-August period, a figure pulled lower by changes in educational services. Construction added 1,100 jobs, a positive sign after the economy added only 400 construction jobs in August 2011.
But hiring was flat in private services last month, he said, including in retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and professional and business services.
That could be a sign that the area’s slow-growth economy is getting a little bit slower, Turek said. “You want to be able to see a little stronger August,” he said.
Concerns about the local economy, though, could be short-lived, because seasonal hiring is under way for the school year and temporary hiring for the Puyallup Fair also will be factored into September’s Pierce County jobless results. Those will be released Oct. 23, according to an Employment Security schedule of release dates.
Thurston County also felt the effects of seasonal education cuts, increasing the county’s jobless rate to 8.2 percent from 7.6 percent in July, the data show.
by the numbers
Regional jobless rates for August, not seasonally adjusted:
• King County (Seattle, Bellevue): 7.6 percent.
• Kitsap County: 7.7 percent.
• Thurston County: 8.2 percent.
• Pierce County: 9.4 percent.
• Mason County: 10.9 percent.
• Lewis County: 12.8 percent.
• Grays Harbor County: 12.8 percent.Source: Employment Security Department firstname.lastname@example.org 360-754-5403