The pace of job growth continues to slow in Western Washington, as the region added only 21,907 new positions over the past 12 months. This represented a growth rate of 1.4%, which was the lowest pace of new jobs added since the pandemic ended.
The regional unemployment rate in August was 5.8%, which was marginally below the 6% rate we saw in the same quarter in 2022. A few smaller counties lost jobs over the past 12 months while King County’s employment levels rose a meager .4%, mainly due to job losses in the technology sector. I’ve said before that I’m not convinced that the U.S. is going to enter a recession; I still stand by that theory. Slowing job growth does not necessarily need to be a precursor to a recession, but I expect that we will see lackluster growth until next spring at the earliest.