Jobless rate holds steady in Pierce County; more jobs added

rboone@theolympian.comDecember 24, 2013 

The Pierce County unemployment rate was unchanged in November from October, but at least the county added several hundred jobs in the same period, according to jobless data released Monday by the state Employment Security Department.

The county’s jobless rate remained at 7.4 percent, but the county added 400 jobs net in the October to November period, regional economist Jim Vleming said.

The county experienced big gains in hiring tied to the holiday shopping season — 900 jobs in retail trade — but other industries showed smaller gains or steep declines, including construction, which shed 1,600 jobs, a reflection of the seasonal nature of construction work.

The county’s jobless rate in November 2012 was 8 percent, the data show.

Although the October to November job growth wasn’t bad, slow growth is still the name of the game for Pierce County.

From November 2012 to November 2013, the county has added 2,900 jobs, translating into 1.1 percent job growth for the year, Vleming said.

How the counties compare:

 • King County (Seattle, Bellevue): 5.2 percent.

 • Kitsap County: 6.1 percent.

 • Thurston County: 6.5 percent.

 • Pierce County: 7.4 percent.

 • Mason County: 8.7 percent.

 • Lewis County: 10.4 percent.

 • Grays Harbor County: 11.3 percent.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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