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Washington State's job market showed upward movement from 2012 to 2013

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Curious about our state’s job market over the past few years and if it’s improved? Recently, the Employment Security Department released information detailing what companies have reported from fall, 2012 to fall, 2013 with regard to hiring and job vacancies. Survey data for this report is gathered twice a year from companies that receive the survey.

During this one year period, our state showed a gain of approximately 16,000 vacancies, which is an increase of over 20% from what was reported going into fall, 2012. In comparison, actual hiring was estimated to be up by nearly 20,000, or 10%. Along with these numbers, companies also shared data around the average length of time to fill their vacancies, reporting job openings weren’t being filled as quickly, often taking more than two months. This started to pick up in fall, 2012 with the timeframe being a lot shorter at just under three weeks, which was most likely due to more people available for work than there were jobs.

Going into fall, 2013, most job openings occurred in urban areas at almost 82% of new hires coming from that area. Specific occupations that saw the most job openings included farmworkers and laborers, which had a smidge over 13,000 openings, which was 15% of the total number of new jobs. This occupational group also boasted the highest reported number of new hires. While it’s forecasted that we’ll continue to see a trend with more openings occurring in urban counties, it’s also likely that the farmworker sector will make up a quarter of all future job openings.

From a wage perspective, in general, hourly wages were reported up by just over 20 cents per hour to $13.69. If you’re currently in school, thinking of going back for a specific occupation, or looking to change careers, you may consider becoming a school teacher, registered nurse, or a business operations specialist. All three occupations not only had the most hires in our state, they also received the highest wage offerings at $29.66, $25.62, and $21.58 per hour, respectively.

To review the full report, it can be found online. Information beyond the fall of 2013 up until now will not be available just yet. It will likely follow the same timeline as this recent report, detailing information from fall of 2013 to 2014, and becoming available around the end of the second quarter in 2015.