Statistics from 2017 show that Washington’s job growth numbers are doing well, but not in areas many would expect.
According to 24/7 Wall Street (via USA Today), seven out of the top 25 US metro areas that significantly added jobs in 2017 are in Washington state. And no, Seattle is not on the list.
24/7 Wall Street calculated the change in employment in the nation’s major metro areas between January and October 2017. One trend sticks out among the cities on the list — the greatest increase in available jobs occurred in the mining, logging, and construction sector. Those industries added the most jobs.
The following list shows the employment change in the city or region.
- 1. Bellingham: 5.5 percent increase
- 4. Mount Vernon – Anacortes: 5 percent increase
- 10. Spokane Valley – 4.6 percent increase
- 12. Longview: 4.5 percent increase
- 13. Olympia – Tumwater: 4.4 percent increase
- 18. Bremerton – Silverdale: 3.9 percent increase
- 19. Portland, Vancouver, Hillsborro, Ore / Wash.: 3.8 percent increase
Bellingham tops the list for adding the most jobs in the country, according to the report. No Washington cities appeared on the list of areas losing the most jobs. The Seattle Times, however, recently noted a significant drop in one of Seattle’s major employers — Amazon. As reporter Matt Day puts it: “Amazon’s hiring boom is cooling off.”
Between August and November, Amazon posted the fewest number of jobs since 2015. In June, the online retailer had more than 9,000 jobs posted. This month, it has just over 3,500.
GeekWire reports tech jobs accounted for 93 percent of office jobs in Seattle for the past two years. A report by CBRE, a real estate firm, found that nine out of every 10 office jobs were in the tech sector.
The Times reports that hiring freezes or postponements and some reorganization at the company is partially why there are fewer jobs available at Amazon. Still, the company is hiring far more workers than other major employers in Washington.
To end on a positive note, another significant Seattle-area employer — Boeing — is hiring again. After years of layoffs and attrition, the aerospace company began a hiring spree over 2017, KING 5 reports.
Boeing’s employment numbers went from 87,023 in 2012, to in 65,830 2017. However, a company spokesperson told KING 5 that Boeing aims to hire several hundred more workers over the coming months — mainly to replace retiring employees. The uptick in hiring could bring the employee numbers above 66,000.