The Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma metro area continues its strong recovery from the Great Recession, with an unemployment rate that has remained below 5 percent for the first time since 2008. Seattle-area unemployment was at 4.7 percent in June, a decrease of 2.5 percent from this time last year. As reported in the Seattle Times, the Seattle area has recovered 99% of the jobs that were lost during the Great Recession. Forbes.com reported that the greater Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area ranks third in the nation for generating the most jobs. The steady improvement indicates that local employers are finally prepared to reinvest in their employees, particularly in finance, technology and industry.
According to Idaho-based labor research firm Economic Modeling Specialists International, three of the five industries that have shown the strongest recovery from the Great Recession are in technology fields. With companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Boeing calling the Seattle area their home, Seattle has shown particularly robust job growth within the technology sector. Systems Research Inc., a local recruiter, has found that the job growth rate within the technology sector is four times the rate of other employment sectors.
“We’re finding that our clients can’t find enough good people,” stated Rob Callon with SRI. “We work with a lot of startup companies to help them find talent. Larger companies can spend millions on their recruiting efforts, and we want to give the smaller companies a competitive edge as well.”
Callon added, “We have found that IT-centered companies and aerospace and aircraft-related companies are currently the most active in adding talent to their teams.”
The Seattle Office of Economic Development estimates that the city of Seattle gained 28,000 private sector jobs from 2011 to 2013 and that employment in Seattle during this time is up 5.9%. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington state had a year-over-year increase of 67,000 jobs from June 2012 to June 2013. Manufacturing saw an increase of 7,000 jobs, professional and business services saw an increase of 11,300 jobs and the retail sector saw an increase of 12,100 jobs. Within the city of Seattle, the highest gains in June 2013 were seen in construction, which added 4,100 jobs; professional and business services added 4,100 jobs.
Tracy Campion is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.