Sometimes you have to look past the one-month snapshot of jobless data and take the long view with unemployment numbers.
The Pierce County jobless rate continued to show improvement in August, falling to 7.7 percent last month from 8.2 percent in July and from 9.1 percent in August 2012, according to state Employment Security Department data released Tuesday.
But take a closer look, and all is not what it appears to be.
Although the jobless rate fell, the county still shed 1,000 jobs in the August-to-September period, largely pulled lower by a loss of 1,500 jobs in government and education, Employment Security regional economist Jim Vleming said. The silver lining is that the county lost more jobs in August 2012 — 1,500 — than this year, and total nonfarm employment still is 2 percent higher than it was a year ago, he said.
The jobless rate should continue to fall, too.
The September results, which will be released Oct. 22, likely will reflect hiring at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, and some employers already are gearing up for holiday employment, such as Kohl’s Department Stores, which announced that it plans to hire more than 50,000 people for its stores, distribution centers and credit operations throughout the country.
Pierce County job seekers also might want to consider a job fair this week at Westfield Capital mall in Olympia.
Several employers, including Best Buy, Macy’s and Starbucks, are set to meet from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday and Friday inside the mall, near the movie theaters. Applicants are asked to bring a résumé and to dress appropriately.
The state’s WorkSource system also is offering a series of employment events this week to help older workers, many of whom still can’t find work.
For example, in June only 26 percent of those 55 or older who had exhausted their jobless benefits had found work.
For more about this week’s events, go to go2worksource.com.
Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment inched up to 7 percent last month from 6.9 percent in July, while the national jobless rate last month was 7.3 percent.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 firstname.lastname@example.org