South Sound shed seasonal holiday jobs in January, but the region bounced right back in February with job growth and lower unemployment rates, according to state Employment Security Department data released Tuesday.
Pierce County’s jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent last month from 6.3 percent in January, while Thurston’s jobless rate moved in the same direction, down to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent over the same period.
Pierce County added jobs in February, including 400 in trade, transportation and utilities, but the county shed 100 construction jobs, according to Employment Security regional economist Jim Vleming.
Construction typically is hiring this time of year, but the region’s extended cold and wet weather has probably delayed some projects, he said.
However, that wasn’t the case in Thurston County, where 200 construction jobs were added in February, Vleming said.
Job growth for both counties in the past year was much stronger. Pierce County has added 7,400 jobs in the period, including more than 3,000 in trade, transportation and utilities, while Thurston added 3,500 jobs. The county added 1,000 jobs in government and 1,000 in leisure and hospitality, Vleming said.
By the numbers
Regional jobless rates for February, not seasonally adjusted
▪ King County: 3.3 percent
▪ Kitsap County: 5.6 percent
▪ Thurston County: 5.7 percent
▪ Pierce County: 6.1 percent
▪ Mason County: 8.1 percent
▪ Lewis County: 8.1 percent
▪ Grays Harbor County: 8.4 percent
Source: Employment Security Department