Pierce County’s unemployment rate climbed higher in January, rising to 7.7 percent from 7.3 percent in December, according to state Employment Security Department data released Tuesday.
It is not unusual for the jobless rate to rise in January because some employers make cuts to seasonal hiring following the holidays.
And that’s exactly what happened in the December to January period as the Pierce County economy shed 4,200 jobs, 3,800 of them in service-providing jobs, regional economist Jim Vleming said.
That was a slight improvement over the same period last year — December 2012 to January 2013 — when the county’s economy shed 5,400 jobs following the holidays.
Although Pierce County’s unemployment remains elevated, compared with other counties in the region, the jobless rate for January was lower than the 9.2 percent unemployment rate for the county in January 2013.
For those looking for work, Saint Martin’s University in Lacey is the site of an upcoming career and internship fair, which is set for 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 8 at Marcus Pavilion on the Saint Martin’s campus, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE. The fair is co-sponsored by The Evergreen State College. The event is free and open to students, alumni and the public.
The fair will feature about 100 employers, including from private industry, government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Ann Adams, associate dean of students and director of career development for Saint Martin’s, said the economy has improved during her nine years with the school, but good or not, students should always have a plan to enter the job market before they graduate.
Don’t think that a degree alone will get you a good job or that you can wait to search for a job after you graduate, she said.
“Those two things will work against you,” Adams said.
She recommends that students develop job contacts, seek out internships and connect with employers during their time as students, because often job openings and internships are not posted. “They want to hire who they know,” Adams said.
Those who attend the job fair are asked to wear appropriate business attire, bring multiple copies of their resume, and brush up on interview skills in advance.
A list of employers planning to attend can be found at www.stmartin.edu/careercenter/events.
By the numbers
Regional jobless rates for January, not seasonally adjusted:
• King County (Seattle, Bellevue): 5.4 percent
• Kitsap County: 6.4 percent
• Thurston County: 6.8 percent
• Pierce County: 7.7 percent
• Mason County: 9.4 percent
• Lewis County: 10.9 percent
• Grays Harbor County: 11.6 percentRolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com Source: Employment Security Department