State Unemployment Drops Below 7%, Under 5% in King, Snohomish Counties

Washington state unemployment rates continue to drop, now below 7% statewide to 6.8%.  In King and Snohomish counties, the economic center of the state, unemployment is below 5%, which some economists consider to be “full employment”.

Here is the county-by-county unemployment map from the Employment Security Dept.:

In the technology sector, hiring is still strong and employment is higher in 2 of the 3 easily tracked sectors that define tech employment in Washington.

The smallest employment category is “computer and electronic product manufacturing”, which employs 20,000 people, a drop of 200 positions from a year ago.

Software publishing now employs 53,300 an increase of 1100 over a year ago.  “Computer system design and related” now employs 40,400 in Washington, 1000 positions more than last year.

These numbers continue the long upward trend of tech employment in Washington, demonstrating the strength of the “big guys” (Microsoft, Amazon), the mid market (companies between 100-500 employees) and the younger/startup companies that are becoming more prevalent in the Seattle/King County area primarily.

This also portends more employer demand for software and computer professionals and the need for the state to continue putting emphasis on STEM degrees and improving STEM education.