The Truth About Unemployment in Washington State

SmartTalent - More Resume TipsWashington state is one of the best places to live and play in the country, but is it one of the best places to work? That is something we will take a look at in this post. Making the decision to switch jobs, careers, or move to a new state takes a lot of courage. Make sure you are making the right decision by having as much information as possible before pulling the trigger on the change.

Washington Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate for the state of Washington sits at 5.9 percent as of the month of March in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 5.9 percent unemployment rate for the state of Washington ranks at 35th in the country in the BLS monthly rankings of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The rates provided by the BLS are a percentage of the workforce and might be adjusted the following month — based on better data.

Unemployed Workers in Washington State

So, how many unemployed workers are there in Washington State? According to a website called Real Washington State Budget, there are actually 700,000 unemployed people in the state, which is an increase from 470,000 back in January of 2008. This number is almost triple the number provided by the Washington State Department of Employment Security. The majority of these people are likely no longer looking for jobs, which means they are not being counted in the unemployment rate.

Cost of Unemployment Benefits in Washington State

What is the cost of unemployment benefits in Washington State? According to the Washington State Department of Employment Security, there were more than $4.7 billion spent on unemployment benefits in 2010, which set a record for the state. Those benefits were paid to some 500,000 unemployed individuals. Compared to an average of 28 weeks unemployed in 2009, the average jumped to 41 weeks unemployed in 2010.

By February of 2011, there were more than 40,000 people in the state of Washington who already used up their unemployment benefits. Add to that, more than 1,000 people are exhausting their benefits at the federal and state levels each week. This means that the cost of unemployment benefits in Washington state are high… and not coming down anytime soon.

The bottom line here is that Washington state has people out of work just like every other state in the country. It is not at the bottom of the list, which is a good thing, but it is also not at the top of the list. If you plan to move to Washington state, consider working with a staffing firm to find a new job. Contact SmartTalent today to begin your job search.


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