From my colleague Rolf Boone:
After unemployment rates fell in Pierce County to end 2012, the New Year is not off to a good start as the jobless rate in the county rose to 9.7 percent in February from a revised 9.2 percent rate in January, new state Employment Security Department data show.
February’s 9.7 percent unemployment rate nearly matched where it was a year ago in Pierce County: 9.9 percent.
The state continues to add jobs to the economy — about 65,000 jobs in the past year — but most of that job growth has been in King and Snohomish counties. Seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment in February was 7.5 percent.
Regional jobless rates for February, not seasonally adjusted:
- King County (Seattle, Bellevue): 5.8 percent.
- Kitsap County: 8.3 percent.
- Thurston County: 8.5 percent.
- Pierce County: 9.7 percent.
- Mason County: 11.8 percent.
- Lewis County: 13.4 percent.
- Grays Harbor County: 13.9 percent.