It’s been a good 12 months for jobs in Washington, and the same goes for Pierce and Thurston counties.
But seasonal forces indicate a small decline in the employment numbers for Pierce and Thurston counties from January to February.
In a release Tuesday morning, the state Employment Security Department noted that the statewide unemployment rate, 6.3 percent in February, was unchanged from revised figures both from January and for the entire 12 months.
“Looking over the year, it looks good in Pierce County,” said Jim Vleming, ESD regional labor economist. “Thurston (County) is not quite as robust.”
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Among Vleming’s data:
• Pierce County recorded an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent in February, and Thurston County recorded 7.2 percent. King County, lowest in the state, finished the month at 4.9 percent.
• Statewide, jobs were up by 98,700 from February 2014 to February 2015. From January 2015 to February, jobs were off by 30,600.
• Non-farm jobs were up 9,100 in Pierce County from February 2014, with trade accounting for 2,200 jobs; education and health service were up 2,100; and construction was up by 1,100.
• Thurston County counted an increase of 4,100 over the year, with 1,000 in leisure and hospitality and 500 in government.
• For the month, from January to February, Pierce County lost 2,200 jobs and Thurston County fell by 800.
Vleming said of these declines, “That’s to be expected with losses in retail. It tells me we’re pointing to a pretty strong spring. Once we get over these seasonal lapses, I think we’re going to see some strong numbers. I think we’re going to see strength across the board.”
Vleming also notes, “It’s nice to say we’re up 9,100 jobs over they year. That’s certainly positive, and that will continue, I think.”