Jobless rate in Thurston holds steady at 7.4%

Staff writerAugust 21, 2013 

In this September 2012 file photo, Work Source business consultants Sidra Fields and Daniel Scrivner answer questions and look over application information Wednesday at the Westfield Capital Mall. (STEVE BLOOM/staff photographer)

STEVE BLOOM — The Olympian Buy Photo

The unemployment rate in Thurston County was 7.4 percent in July, down from 7.9 percent in 2012 and 8.4 percent in 2011, but unchanged from the rate reported in June, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday. Employment in the manufacturing sector was up 3.1 percent year-over-year in Thurston County, and the hospitality sector saw an increase of 4.5 percent. Government employment was unchanged from last year, ESD reported. “In Thurston County there really isn’t much going on,” Jim Vleming, ESD regional labor economist, said Tuesday. “We’re at 7.4 percent, where we were last month.” Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Pierce County fell to 8.3 percent in July from 8.4 percent in June, ESD reported. One year ago in July, the unemployment rate stood at 9 percent, and the rate in 2011 had risen to 9.5 percent in the county. “We’re moving in the right direction,” Vleming said. Only one major Pierce County industry sector – government – saw a decrease in employment in July as compared with July last year, the department reported. Among those governmental divisions that reduced employment were federal employment, down 4.7 percent, and local government, down 2.1 percent. State government employment rose 2 percent compared with a year ago. Employment in the construction sector rose 8.1 percent from July 2012, ESD reported. ESD recently reported a statewide unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in July, down from 7 percent in June and 8.3 percent in July 2012.

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