According to the latest monthly jobs report from the Washington State Employment Security Department, the seasonally adjusted Seattle unemployment rate in July was 3.7 percent, down one percent from the same time last year. Also in July, there was an increase of 5,900 nonfarm Seattle jobs, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Across the state of Washington, the unemployment rate held steady in July, coming in at 5.3 percent. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the state also saw an increase of 5,900 nonfarm jobs.
What does the continued decrease in Seattle unemployment mean for employers in the area?
Regarding the Seattle jobs report numbers, Robert Half district president Josh Warborg notes, “The Seattle unemployment rate continues to fall below state and national averages, and job growth is especially noticeable in areas such as financial activities (including real estate) and retail trade.”
While these are certainly positive shifts in terms of the overall economy, the numbers indicate a smaller overall candidate pool, which can translate into increased competition among employers looking to fill positions. Warborg notes that employers can make their companies attractive to job seekers by staying abreast of the latest salary trends and offering competitive compensation and attractive benefits packages.
In such a competitive market, employers may feel pressured to make a hire sooner rather than later. “To land the best candidates, you do need to move swiftly,” states Warborg, “but that doesn’t mean at the expense of thoroughly vetting candidates before extending an offer.” He suggests hiring managers prepare for the interview process well in advance to ensure they land the best candidate, rather than just an available candidate.
Warborg adds that employers should also consider increasing compensation for top employees and hiring from within to keep key players on hand. “Retention is absolutely a strategy companies need to consider in the current climate,” he says. “Along with the limited talent pool we’re seeing, employees are more confident about exploring their options if they’re not satisfied with their career path or salary.”
How does the current Seattle unemployment rate affect your hiring plans? Let us know in the comments.