Report: Washington experienced continued economic growth in 2018

Report: Washington experienced continued economic growth in 2018

Economic growth in Washington expanded in the first half of 2018, building on the 4.7 percent growth in 2017, according to the Labor Market and Economic Annual Report, produced by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD)

It marked the highest growth rate of any state for the second straight year, well above the 2.2 percent growth achieved by the nation.

The report covers comparisons for 2017 annual statistics, as well as those for the first three quarters of 2018, based on the available data at the time this report was written, in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Our Labor Market and Economic Analysis (LMEA) team provides great resources for job seekers, employers and policy makers to make informed career, hiring or policy decisions – and this 2018 report is just one of those many resources,” said ESD Commissioner Suzi Levine.

As an overview of Washington state’s labor market and economy through the first three quarters of 2018, the report includes analyses of employment conditions and trends, unemployment, wages, income and employment projections. Economists and policy makers can use this report to track Washington’s economic trends. ESD produces the report with guidance from the Revised Code of Washington, section 50.38.040, Annual report.

Check out this video featuring Labor Market Information Director Steven Ross and Commissioner LeVine, discussing the highlights of the report and other resources offered by the LMEA team.

Report summary

Data in the 2018 Labor Market and Economic Report are gathered by the Employment Security Department and other government agencies, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, as well as from the private sector.

Here are just a few of the key findings in the report:

• December 2018 Year-Over-Year Job Growth – Washington recorded the third highest annual average gain of job growth at 3 percent and a year-over-year increase of 3.1 percent. The Seattle metro area accounted for about 63 percent of the state’s net increase — slightly more than its share of the state’s employment base.

• Every major industrial sector, except for mining and logging, added jobs.

• The state unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in September 2018 compared to the U.S. rate of 3.7 percent. Washington’s unemployment rate of 4.4 percent at the time was at an historical low for the state based on the statistical series maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics dating back to 1976.

• Total non-farm employment in Washington state is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 1.59 percent until 2026. Computer and mathematical occupations, management occupations and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations were projected to grow faster than other occupational groups from 2016 to 2026. By 2026, office and administrative support occupations are projected to comprise the largest share of total occupational employment.

• Based upon the most recently published annual data, the median household income in Washington, as measured in 2017 dollars, rose by 14.3 percent from 2013 to 2017.

• Job gains were greatest in occupations that paid between $12 and $17.99 per hour.

• From 2001 to 2017, jobs paying an hourly wage of $54 and above grew faster than jobs in middle and lower wage categories.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Katsu Burger’s Tokyo Classic with Nori Fries. Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing
Katsu Burger opens new Kent location

The restaurant offers breaded hamburgers inspired by traditional Japanese comfort food.

t
Kent business owner takes over as Impact Washington board chairman

Craig Hanela, president of Buyken Metal Products, replaces Joe Heim

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

Stock photo
Justice Department seeks to shut down Kent tax return preparer

Allegedly filed federal income tax returns that underreport tax due

Papa John’s will host job recruiting events next week at its Kent location and 17 other locations around the Seattle area. COURTESY PHOTO, Papa John’s
Papa John’s plans hiring event in Kent as labor shortage continues

Hiring, retention bonuses part of deal as company seeks employees

tt
Kent Station reaches highest retail occupancy since opening in 2005

55 tenants push rate to 91%; Daiso to open store this fall

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.

t
Two new murals decorate downtown Kent businesses exterior walls

Colorful art along West Meeker Street and West Harrison Street

t
Saar’s Super Saver Foods opens on Kent’s East Hill

Along 104th Avenue SE across from Home Depot

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

State Rep. Debra Entenman, D-Kent, will be one of the speakers at the second annual PNW Economic Equity Summit virtual event on June 23. COURTESY PHOTO, House Democrats
Local chambers of commerce to present PNW Economic Equity Summit

Virtual event at 11 a.m. on June 23 offered by Kent, Renton, Seattle Southside groups

The winning bid hit $28 million for a seat on New Shepard’s first human flight into space by Kent-based Blue Origin. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin
It took $28 million for winning bid on Kent-based Blue Origin’s space flight

Winner’s name to be released later; nearly 7,600 people from 159 countries placed bids for seat