Technology companies have been among the bright spots for job growth in the region. They are hiring a lot of one particular kind of employee—software engineers. Those are the people who design, develop and test systems and software.
Construction is now the fastest-growing industry in Washington state. Construction cranes fill the skyline. Public works projects like light rail lines and the tunnel project snarl our streets. But despite appearances, construction has not yet fully recovered from the 2008 recession.
For decades, government agencies and business groups have equated science degrees with job security. Employment projections from Washington state show growth in life science jobs, and policy groups lament a shortage of American scientists. But people who counted on a secure career in the lab are having the rug yanked out from under them. In the wake of the recession and the federal budget sequester, they’re having to develop a Plan B.
In 2009 President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. It provided $500 million for research and green-jobs training. Here in Washington, $16 million in federal funds went to green jobs training.
From Anacortes, Wash., you get the classic, gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands. But tourists mostly breeze by this city, thinking of it as just the gateway to greater places. Anacortes does have its own thing going, though. It’s an unusual mix of a real working city with super lovely landscape.
This week, KUOW has been taking a deeper look at the jobs recovery in Washington state in our series, The Big Reset. In this segment, we're talking numbers: unemployment, wages, industry trends. And the good news is, Washington is doing all right.
The unemployment rate here has mirrored the national average at around 7 percent. Ross Reynolds talks with regional labor economist, Anneliese Vance-Sherman about Washington's recovery and industry trends.
One reason the Puget Sound region stayed stronger than some surrounding areas during the economic downturn is because of its tech industry. A particular bright spot is the computer gaming and interactive media industry.
Welding torches have sizzled at the Vigor Industrial shipyard on Seattle’s Harbor Island for a century. But the men and women behind the welding masks in this particular warehouse have only been at it for two weeks. The demand for skilled welders is so high that the shipyard and the state are now paying to teach the skill to displaced workers.
The economic future of this region is still tied to the future of Boeing, the region's bellwether employer. The aerospace industry pays 7.5 percent of the wages in Washington state, and Boeing remains the region’s largest private employer, with 85,000 local jobs.
Nursing schools around the country have seen a jump in enrollment in the last few years. Many students were hoping to get in on what was supposed to be a recession-proof field: the growing health care sector. Instead, new graduates faced a tough market.
The economic downturn attributed to the Great Recession tested the resilience of many workers and careers.
King County’s unemployment rate is more than 2 percent lower than the national rate. In fact, the Seattle area is seen as a bright spot in the recovery. But the farther you get from the big city, the more likely a different picture emerges. In some rural areas, incomes and job security are lower, and this has made for a tougher recovery.