South Sound unemployment rates remained low in December, but little happened in terms of job growth, according to jobless data released Tuesday by the state Employment Security Department.
The lack of job growth can be tied to the season, regional economist Jim Vleming said Tuesday.
Pierce County shed 1,700 jobs last month, with the bulk of those job losses pulled lower by the winter slowdown in construction, he said. The construction industry shed 1,000 jobs, Vleming said.
The county’s unemployment rate inched higher as a result, to 6 percent in December from 5.8 percent in November, the data show.
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Thurston County added jobs last month in local and state government, but also shed an equal number of jobs to show no gain, Vleming said.
Still, the county’s jobless rate also inched higher to 5.7 percent last month from 5.5 percent in November.
The seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate in December was 5.2 percent. The U.S. jobless rate was 4.7 percent last month.
Regional unemployment rates for December, not seasonally adjusted
▪ King County: 3.4 percent.
▪ Kitsap County: 5.5 percent.
▪ Thurston County: 5.7 percent.
▪ Pierce County: 6 percent.
▪ Mason County: 7.9 percent.
▪ Lewis County: 8.2 percent.
▪ Grays Harbor County: 8.8 percent.
Source: Employment Security Department