Published September 26, 2012
Thurston unemployment rate jumps to 8.2 percent in AugustROLF BOONE
Seasonal education cuts again bumped up Thurston County’s jobless rate, increasing it to 8.2 percent last month from a revised rate of 7.6 percent in July, according to state Employment Security Department data. That increase was in line with the seasonally adjusted statewide increase in unemployment, which rose to 8.6 percent in August from 8.5 percent in July. National unemployment was 8.1 percent in August. A year ago in August, the county’s jobless rate was 8.4 percent. The county, meanwhile, shed 200 jobs in the July-August period, pulled lower as a result of those seasonal education cuts, regional economist Jim Vleming said Tuesday. But the increase in the county’s jobless rate could be short-lived because seasonal hiring is under way for the new school year, and some local retailers are hiring. Here are some other factors that might lower the county’s jobless rate once September’s unemployment results are released next month. Those are expected Oct. 23. TJ Maxx: The retailer opens its first Olympia store Sunday at Westfield Capital mall. The store has hired 50 people for the store and 30 others for the grand opening, operations manager Ty Hardwick said. Capital mall: Eight mall retailers took part in a two-day hiring event last week, attracting 60 job seekers the first day. Although some job seekers said they have struggled to find work, Alonzo Baggett, 25, of Olympia, said last week that he remains optimistic about his search. He said he planned to apply for four mall retailer jobs, and he encouraged other job seekers to remain upbeat. There are plenty of jobs, but some job seekers don’t do a good job selling themselves or are too proud to take certain jobs, Baggett said.