In April, job vacancies in Washington state reached their highest point in three years, according to a new report by the Employment Security Department.
An estimated 60,087 vacant jobs were available, an increase of 55 percent from a year earlier and nearly double the number that existed in spring 2009. The last time the survey showed a larger number of vacancies was in spring 2008, when there were nearly 75,000 job vacancies.
“In order for unemployment to come down, we need more jobs and more hiring,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause. “This survey shows that employment conditions are gradually improving.”
Job vacancies hit an all-time high in fall 2006, with nearly 91,000 open positions. That number dropped rapidly the ensuing three years, hitting a low point of 32,037 vacancies in fall 2009.
The number of unemployed job seekers declined from a peak of about 337,000 in spring 2010 to around 312,000 at the same point in 2011. At the same time, the total labor force (which includes employed workers and unemployed workers who are actively looking for jobs) also declined, by an estimated 51,926 (seasonally adjusted).