The rising jobless rate reverses an eight-year trend. The last time Washington’s jobless rate grew was November 2009, when unemployment peaked at 10.4 percent.

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For the first time since the recession, Washington state’s unemployment rate is going up — with the Seattle area taking the biggest hit.

The statewide jobless rate stood at 4.6 percent in August, up from 4.5 percent a month prior, the state Employment Development Department reported Wednesday.

The total number of people in Washington with jobs actually ticked up slightly last month, at least on a seasonally-adjusted basis, but they were outpaced by the rising number of people looking for work.

The rising jobless rate reverses an eight-year trend. The last time Washington’s jobless rate grew was November 2009, when unemployment peaked at 10.4 percent.

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The shift has been more pronounced in the Seattle area. The jobless rate across King and Snohomish counties grew to 3.7 percent in August, up from 3.5 percent a month prior. It’s the third straight month the local unemployment rate increased, after it stood at 3.3 percent — a post-recession low — in May.

An extra 3,270 Washington residents were out of work and looking for a job compared to a month ago, the biggest rise since September 2009. Virtually all of those new unemployed adults live in the Seattle area.

Both the state and local job markets are still in excellent shape, from a historical perspective, and have improved from a year ago. At this point last year, unemployment was 5.4 percent statewide and 3.9 percent in the Seattle area.

And the trend mirrors a nationwide shift, as the U.S. jobless rate grew last month to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent.

So could this be a blip on the radar before the economy returns to growing again, or has the region already surpassed peak employment?

Based on past cycles, it might be the latter. During the economic good times of 1998 and 2007, the state unemployment rate bottomed out at 4.6 percent and then went back up again for the next few years. That’s the same as today’s rate.

Most of the jobs added last month were created in the retail trades; transportation, warehousing and utilities; and construction. The government sector lost the most jobs from a month ago, but compared to a year ago, public-sector jobs are still way up.