The Pierce County economy got a welcome boost of jobs in September, thanks to the start of the school year and the Puyallup Fair, lowering the jobless rate to 8.5 percent from a revised 9.1 percent rate in August, according to state Employment Security Department data released Tuesday.
The county created 5,700 jobs in the August-to-September period, with 3,500 coming from government and educational services and an additional 1,000 jobs from the leisure and hospitality sector. Puyallup Fair employment falls into that category, regional economist Paul Turek said.
Other data suggests the county’s economy might be showing more overall improvement than a one-month boost in jobs.
The county added 1,200 construction jobs between September 2011 and September 2012, and 1,700 jobs in professional and business services during the same period. Growth in both construction and professional and business services are considered key indicators for economic recovery, Turek said.
Since January, Pierce County has created 10,800 jobs, compared with 7,000 jobs during the same period in 2011, he said.
“It’s consistent with what we’re seeing at the state level,” Turek said about the job growth.
Seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment was 8.5 percent in September, which fell from 8.6 percent in August as hiring statewide created 2,700 jobs last month, most of that in education.
The national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in September.
By the numbers
Regional jobless rates for September, not seasonally adjusted:
• King County (Seattle, Bellevue): 7 percent.
• Kitsap County: 7.1 percent.
• Thurston County: 7.4 percent.
• Pierce County: 8.5 percent.
• Mason County: 10.2 percent.
• Lewis County: 11.8 percent.
• Grays Harbor County: 12 percent.
Source: Employment Security DepartmentRolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com theolympian.com/bizblog @rolf_boone