King County saw a record-setting unemployment rate of 1.9% in April 2022, according to data from Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD).
Two years earlier, in April 2020, King County hit a peak unemployment rate of 15.3%. The low unemployment rate this spring suggests people who are looking for work are able to find employment, according to the ESD.
The King County labor force grew by nearly 60,000 — or 4.7% — over the past year. Non-farm employment expanded by 10,700 from March to April 2022, with a total of 1,465,700 non-farm jobs, ESD data shows.
Every major industry recorded expanding employment over the year, according to the ESD. However, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and information were the industries with the largest increases in employment.
Washington’s April 2022 unemployment rate is slightly higher than King County’s at 3.5% — this marks a decrease from the previous month’s unemployment rate of 4.3%.
Around 9,600 King County residents collected unemployment insurance in April 2022. During the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns in April 2020, over 130,000 King County residents collected unemployment insurance, according to the ESD.
Such low unemployment rates mean employers will have a hard time finding workers if they aren’t offering competitive compensation, which is good news for job seekers.
This snapshot shows the county’s economy is continuing to recover from the economic recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.