Region adds nearly 60,000 jobs in 2016

Seventh consecutive year of job growth

During the last five years, job growth has been especially robust. The region added more jobs than during any five-year period since the early 1990s.

The region gained 270,900 jobs between 2011 and 2016, compared to loss of 21,700 jobs in the previous five-year period from 2006 to 2011.

All four central Puget Sound counties — King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap — gained new jobs, but most growth occurred in King and Snohomish counties, at an annual growth rate of 3.25%.

Services sector has highest job growth

The services sector, which includes jobs from information technology (IT), business services, and recreation and food services, experienced its highest annual growth rate (4.06%) since 2001.

The central Puget Sound economy continues to grow at a fast pace. In 2016, the four-county region added 59,400 jobs — the seventh consecutive year of job growth.

Unemployment rate lowest in last decade

Regionwide the unemployment rate dropped by 17% in 2016, to 4.3% — the lowest unemployment rate in the last decade. King, Pierce and Snohomish counties all experienced reductions in unemployment rates over the past year. Kitsap County observed an increase in the unemployment rate from 5.4% to 5.7% in 2016.

For more data on regional employment, check out our latest issue of Puget Sound Trends.