Seattle Jobs Report: Unemployment Trending Downward

Seattle unemployment continues its downward trend according to the latest monthly employment report from the Washington State Employment Security Department. The seasonally adjusted Seattle unemployment rate for April 2015 was 4.3 percent, compared to 4.5 percent for the previous month and 4.9 percent for the same period a year ago. In April, 9,500 Seattle jobs were added, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state of Washington for April was 5.5 percent compared to 5.9 percent a month prior. Additionally, according to seasonally adjusted figures, Washington added 8,200 jobs in the same time period.

What does this mean for the hiring climate in Seattle?

“We are seeing sharp increases in hiring and growth in most business sectors, including aerospace, technology and healthcare in the Seattle area,” said Josh Warborg, district president for Robert Half in Seattle. And many skilled candidates looking for Seattle jobs are receiving multiple offers. That’s why, once a promising applicant is identified, hiring managers need to be aggressive and move at a quick speed to lock him or her in.

However, while you should move quickly, you shouldn’t be hasty in making your decision. In the war for talent, it’s important for companies to take their time during the interview process, says Warborg. This allows them to “convey compensation and benefits, the company culture and, ultimately, why the person should take the job.” Signing bonuses, competitive starting salaries and individualized compensation packages are also being used to attract talented professionals.

The decrease in Seattle unemployment translates to increasing confidence of top talent — including those you already have on board. “Employees who aren’t happy in their current position are taking a much more proactive look at other employment opportunities,” Warborg notes. Though it’s important to focus on recruitment, employers should also take a look at their current retention efforts to ensure they don’t lose key team members.

What changes have you seen in the Seattle jobs market? Let us know in the comments section.