South Sound unemployment rates rise in January (as they usually do)

South Sound unemployment rates rose in January, likely the result of the retail industry shedding seasonal holiday jobs, according to state Employment Security Department data released Tuesday.

A regional economist could not be reached Tuesday.

Pierce County’s jobless rate rose to 6.4 percent in January from 6 percent in December, the data show. Thurston County’s unemployment rate made a similar move, rising to 6 percent from 5.5 percent over the same period.

Every year, Employment Security releases its January and February unemployment data in March. The county-level jobless figures for February will be released March 28.

Regional jobless rates for January, not seasonally adjusted

▪ King County: 3.8 percent

▪ Kitsap County: 6 percent

▪ Thurston County: 6 percent

▪ Pierce County: 6.4 percent

▪ Mason County: 8.5 percent

▪ Lewis County: 8.5 percent

▪ Grays Harbor County: 9 percent

Source: Employment Security Department