Jobs: The bleeding has finally stopped.

It’s been a few months since we last checked in on Seattle’s employment stats, so let’s update our employment charts again.

First up, year-over-year job growth, broken down into a few relevant sectors:

Seattle-Area YOY Job Gains / Losses

For the first time since 2005, every sector we track is in the black year over year. The bleeding has finally stopped.

Here’s a look at the overall Seattle area unemployment rate compared to the national rate:

Seattle-Area Unemployment Rate

Down significantly since the end of the recession, but still at a point higher than any time between 1990 and 2009. The bleeding has stopped, but it’s difficult to say we’re really in a real “recovery” just yet, in my opinion.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Chris says:

    U3 – 8.3
    U6 – 14.9%
    Shadow Gov’t Stats – 22.5%

    In an election year, you decide what’s right.

    Anyone know how the stat calcs unemployment rate?

    Those rolling off unemployment benefits and have to start looking for a job will add to the rate. Will there be enough jobs to offset this?

  2. 2
    Dorothea says:

    Cue SWE and predictions of doom.

  3. 3
    pfft says:

    the tim is pushing that hope and change…might not go over well here;)

  4. 4
    Don says:

    RE: Chris @ 1
    You’re right but remember, it’s not the number, it’s the delta.
    That’s the one thing we all know on this site. It’s not what the number measures (you can have that argument for years) it’s how the number changes (and why) that is important.
    Upshot, all 3 numbers you list for unemployment have gone down. That is how to read the entrails.

  5. 5

    RE: Dorothea @ 2

    You Consider a Basically Flat Labor Force in the Seattle/Everett/Bellevue the Last 3 Years a “Prediction of Doom”?

    From “Obama’s Federal Government BLS” data base BTW, blame him, not SWE.

    BTW, if all the unemployed armies are finding jobs and not just dropping off the unemployment count, why didn’t the total labor force increase trend?????

    You got a magic wand?

    Add in another 1.4% population growth from foreign vistors per year into this flat labor force job market and if you’re not predicting doom, what are you predicting? When’s the last time you talked to a Y Generation youth about “predictions of doom” being just a fabricated SWE joke , RE: job scarcity in the Seattle area? Ever?

    Do you even care?

  6. 6
    Blurtman says:

    Should also consider weighting by average salaries. Stabilization due to more burger flipping jobs is not necessarily good news. Wake me when the standard of living increases.

  7. 7

    RE: Chris @ 1 – I think the big stat for the election might be California. How high can it be in that state with them still voting for a Democrat? Note they also have higher gas prices there.

  8. 8

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7

    We’ve Got the Same Severe Overpopulation Problems California has Kary, RE: Medical Workers With No Customers

    I just heard Seattle’s Sweedish Hospital is buying off a big bankrupt one and moving, as a result, from the President of a medical care company I volunteer as a board member to. As hospitals close down due to lack of patients, expect more of this; big ones absorbing smaller ones in the future. Nurse and doctor layoffs, yes; we don’t need ’em and can’t afford ’em either. The answer is increase wages [depopulate] or watch it get worse and worse, just like California.

  9. 9
    Dorothea says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 5

    “When’s the last time you talked to a Y Generation youth about “predictions of doom” …. RE: job scarcity in the Seattle area? Ever?”

    Saturday March 17, 2012 at approximately 12:45 pm, in the Hunts Point area of Bellevue, speaking with two Pepperdine Law students about job prospects now and upon graduation in the Los Angeles area, and, to a lesser degree, nationwide. So granted, it wasn’t Seattle-area specific.

  10. 10
    David Losh says:

    I’m very nervous, but we are adding six employees in April. Last year we added two.

  11. 11
    kfhoz says:

    By David Losh @ 10:

    I’m very nervous, but we are adding six employees in April. Last year we added two.

    We are trying to hire a technical support person, who needs to be fairly technical. For a sales opening we had recently there were almost 100 applicants in 3 days, and we stopped accepting resumes. We only got a handful of real applicants for the tech support position (others were people in India, or students looking for an internship job, etc). Interviewed 3 of them. Not one could tell me how to represent the quantity three in binary.

    I had heard that Gen Y did not want to do hard majors like engineering and science. This is just one anecdote, but it my own first personal experience with it.

    Remember, there are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who do not.

  12. 12
    Siddharta says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 6 – Not true. A lot of very high paying jobs are being created by amazon/microsoft and other local tech companies. Salaries for people with few years experience have gone up quite a bit recently.

  13. 13
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Siddharta @ 12 – I hope you are correct. But it would be interesting to juxtapose median salaries on the graph above.

  14. 14
    karl says:

    RE: kfhoz @ 11

    should have been 8 people

  15. 15
    John says:

    Law School Bubble Pops. Reduced job prospects for law school graduates, enrollment declines for first time in over a decade.

  16. 16
    WannaBuy2012 says:

    Tim, I saw it on CNN so it must be true. Starting today, buying is officially cheaper than renting in 98 of the top 100 markets.

  17. 17
    John Bailo says:

    My estimate is that in the last two years Seattle has been bleeding population. All the extra members of households…the 20 somethings crashing on people’s couches and extra rooms — have left for better climes. And the infusion of Federal dollars on “infrastructure” projects, envisioned more than 10 years ago, is the other thing keeping the floor from dropping out.

    But good luck keeping the coalition of taxpayers together long enough to maintain the illusion for much longer.

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