According to the most recent monthly jobs report, the seasonally adjusted Seattle unemployment rate for October was 3.8 percent, a 0.8 percent decrease from the same time last year. Also in October, 3,800 Seattle jobs were added on a seasonally adjusted basis. Across the state of Washington, the monthly jobs report showed a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.2 percent in October. This is consistent from September, but a 1.1 percent decrease from a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the state added 6,900 jobs in October.
What do these numbers mean for Seattle employers?
When asked about the monthly jobs report, Robert Half District President Josh Warborg said, “Given that the Seattle unemployment rate has continued to decline over the past 12 months, it’s reasonable for companies to expect increased competition for open positions.” He advises that employers seeking to fill Seattle jobs use a thorough interview process, including reference checks, to ensure that they hire the most qualified candidates.
Warborg also suggests managers keep up with the latest salary trends and prepare to deal with salary negotiations. “Qualified candidates will likely have multiple offers on the table, and they may attempt to negotiate for a higher salary before accepting a position,” Warborg adds. “Be aware of the pitfalls associated with negotiations, including lost time, which can lead to lost talent.”
In addition, Warborg notes it’s important for employers to craft strategies that keep the high-performing employees they already have. “In the current hiring environment, it’s smart for managers to focus their energies on retention,” he says. Review your company’s benefits, employee recognition programs and the work-life balance you offer to ensure your best employees will stick around.
How does the current Seattle jobs market affect your hiring plans? For assistance with recruitment efforts, contact your local Robert Half recruiter at (844) 839-5878.