Seattle Employment Rates Reach 13-Year High
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The greater Seattle metropolitan area continues with its robust economic recovery, showing record-high employment numbers, hiring rates that buck typical mid-summer trends and job growth rates that reached a 13-year high in June. While Seattle-area unemployment numbers peaked at 186,502 in January of 2010, unemployment dropped to 104,767 in June of 2013. In February 2008, Seattle employment hit an all-time high of 1,773,500, but the June 2013 employment number of 1,814,568 eclipses this mark by more than 40,000.
Dan Colleran, Director of Technology Practice at specialist recruitment firm Greythorn, has watched the ebb and flow of hiring trends in the Seattle area since the early 90s. Colleran has seen the Seattle economy recover from two recessions and thinks that 2013 will continue to be a banner year for both employers and employees in the Seattle area.
“During the recession of 2006-2008, there were a lot of really down-and-out people – even highly skilled people. But we’ve turned that corner now and optimism is the key word,” Colleran stated.
Greythorn, which has offices worldwide, including Seattle, Chicago, Sao Paolo, Dublin, Moscow, Singapore, London and Melbourne, has a focus on IT and healthcare, employment sectors that have seen significant growth within the past decade. A report issued by the Brookings Institute in July stated that nationwide, the healthcare industry had a growth rate of 22.7 percent and increased by 2.6 million jobs during the last decade. In comparison, the job growth rate for all other industries during that same time was 2.1 percent. And according to Colleran, the market has never been hotter for I.T. professionals.
“The tech market right now is really unprecedented. Once we find a candidate, we have to give them a really intriguing offer. They often receive multiple offers,” Colleran explained.
Greythorn spends a tremendous amount of time at the community level, meeting leaders in technology fields, cultivating those relationships and knowing what those clients will want when they call looking for talent. And while mid-summer is historically a waning time for the staffing industry, the summer of 2013 continues to buck trends.
“The trend right now is pedal to the metal,” stated Colleran.
“From startups to large companies, there’s no slowing in lending or in hiring in Seattle. Our business comes in two forms – clients ask us for talent or our company identifies a talented individual with a skill set that we can market. The demand is quickly outstripping the supply and will continue to do so for the next few years in the greater Puget Sound area.”
But potential career success isn’t limited to technologically savvy candidates. Colleran offers encouragement for job seekers who may not have a tech foundation – yet.
“The ease of access to get into tech is easier than ever before. If you want to learn a program, you can find a way. There are free resources online to learn. If you want to get into the tech industry, there’s a way for everyone.”
Tracy Campion is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.