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Washington State may see twice the number of new job openings in spring of 2014

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The Employment Security Department announced today it’s expected that by spring of 2014, employers in our state will likely double the number of new jobs they had in spring of this year. This outlook was obtained in part by asking employers for the first time to forecast 12 months in advance on expected job openings wherein employers projected over 157,000 new job positions for spring of 2014. This number is twice what was reported in spring of this year.

The other part of this outlook comes from historical numbers from the 2013 Spring Job-Vacancy and Hiring Survey Report, which showed that our state saw an increase of approximately 63% in new positions from spring of 2012 to spring of 2013. From a numbers perspective, our state gained about 33,000 new jobs in 2013, up from 52,000 reported in the spring of 2012. Within those numbers, approximately 26% of the 2013 jobs were brand new positions. This number is up about four percent from 2012. In addition, more than 75% of the open jobs were permanent roles.

Trades that saw the most vacancies last spring included healthcare and social assistance, accommodation and food service, and administrative and support and waste management.

The outlook is good for the number of jobs that may be available for job seekers, but that’s not necessarily the case when it comes to wages. Our state’s average starting wage for new employees in the first part of 2013 was about $13.67 and hour whereas a year prior it was $15.45 an hour. The drop in the average hourly wage is thought to be due to more hiring occurring in lower wage positions like customer service, freight workers, and farm workers.

The hiring report is published twice a year and can be accessed online for a historical comparison and analysis.

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