According to the most recent monthly jobs report, the seasonally adjusted Seattle unemployment rate for July was 4.4 percent, a 0.2 percentage point decrease from the month prior. During the same period, 6,600 Seattle jobs were added on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Washington Employment Security Department.
Across the state, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in July, unchanged from the previous month. Also on a seasonally adjusted basis, Washington State saw job gains numbering 2,600.
What do these figures mean for employers looking to staff Seattle jobs?
According to Robert Half district president Josh Warborg, “The declining Seattle unemployment rate means the number of qualified applicants may drop, and, as a result, it could take longer to staff open positions.” Warborg advises managers to find efficiencies in their recruitment processes by fostering teamwork with human resources. “Collaborating with HR throughout the hiring cycle can ensure that everyone’s needs and concerns are addressed early on, speeding up the hiring process,” he says. “Our research shows that if companies take more than about two weeks to make a hiring decision, they may find their top candidates have already accepted other offers. So it’s important to streamline the process.”
Another way Warborg says employers can gain an edge in the Seattle jobs market is by keeping candidates’ needs in mind. “Today’s job seekers can afford to be choosy. Many may be entertaining multiple offers, or they might not be so easy to coax away from their current positions,” he says. When crafting job descriptions, Warborg suggests employers play up their corporate culture or mention alternative benefits that promote work-life balance, like flexible scheduling and wellness programs. “These factors could make a difference in swaying candidate decisions,” he says.