Washington State Jobs Update 2005

  • Washington state ended 2005 with 81,000 more jobs than in December 2000, before the onset of recession. With population growth of more than 6% since 2000, Washington would need over twice as many new jobs to have the same level of employment as in 2000.
  • The decline in manufacturing jobs that began in 1998 turned to modest expansion in 2004, but manufacturing is likely to continue losing job share in the state.
  • Employment in health services, construction, financial services and restaurants has expanded at faster rates than general job growth.
  • Overall, the three nonfarm sectors with the highest concentrations of minimum wage and low wage jobs (accommodation and food services, retail, and health services and social assistance) have added significant numbers of new jobs since the recession.
  • Rates of job growth have varied significantly around the state. King County still has not recovered year 2000 levels of employment. Spokane and Yakima counties have also struggled, but ended 2005 with more jobs than in December 2000. Meanwhile, job growth in most other urban areas has been brisk since 2001.
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