Seattle Area Keeps Adding Jobs, Washington Unemployment Falls Below National Rate

Let’s have a look at the Seattle area’s employment situation.

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

Seattle-Area YOY Job Gains / Losses

Construction is posting gangbuster gains—up 11.5% year-over-year—as homebuilders attempt to capitalize on the inventory crunch. Finance / Real Estate is posting the smallest gains at just 0.8% year-over-year growth.

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

Seattle-Area Unemployment Rate

Unemployment fell again in Seattle and Washington State from November to December, as it more or less flat-lined nationally. As a result, Washington State’s unemployment rate fell below the national rate for the first time two years. The Seattle area is still outperforming Washington State and the nation as a whole, with December unemployment coming in at 7.8% for the US, 7.6% for Washington, and 6.5% for the Seattle area.


Seasonally adjusted series used for all data sets.

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.


  1. 1

    Different Data Bases

    I found no data base reference for Seattle job growth [includes Dec 2012?], please provide.

    I use the United States Government Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS) and I’d add, be careful with real recent data, like Dec 2012, especially if its NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED downward. BLS hasn’t even released the Dec 2012 data yet, its too ambiguous.

    But let’s compare the BLS data to the charts above…..the Total Labor Force market for Seattle/Bellevue/Everett is decreasing since last Summer, not increasing. At best YOY, its flat. albeit its CLEARLY below the Depressionary 08/09 levels. So in a YOY trending, the last 3-4 years, is degrading, not improving.

    Obama was at the helm too.

  2. 2
    macDaug says:

    Lots of jobs flowing into South Lake Union :)

  3. 3
    john says:

    Also amazon and google are getting ready to hire and open up many offices.

  4. 4

    […] gain in January to just 5.4% in February, and the over ten percent gains we saw in that sector in the original December data was erased by revised data. With 6% year-over-year growth, the retail sector actually eclipsed […]

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