The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages for Q3 2019 was released this week. Regional employment and wage growth continue to rank in the top seven for all large metros in the U.S. While the number of business establishments in the region also grew, Pierce County posted significantly larger gains than King or Snohomish counties.
Greater Seattle region (Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties)
Average covered employment for the quarter increased 55,415 year-over-year from 2,008,619 in Q3 2018 to 2,064,034 in Q3 2019.
That amounts to the 7th largest nominal gain among all large metro areas in the U.S. and puts Greater Seattle ahead of comparable metros such as San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, and Austin.
In the same time period, average weekly wages grew from $1,542 to $1,602. Expressed on an average annual-wage basis that means an increase from $80,184 to $83,304, a gain of 3.9 percent.
Greater Seattle ranks 4th in weekly wage growth behind San Francisco, Boston, and Austin.
Average covered employment for the quarter increased 44,715 year-over-year from 1,405,965 in Q3 2018 to 1,450,680 in Q3 2019.
In nominal terms, King County ranks 4th among all U.S. counties for employment growth. On a percentage basis, employment in King County grew 3.18 percent.
Average weekly wages rose $64 in King County from $1,750 to $1,814 (or from $91,000 to $94,328 expressed on an average annual-wage basis), an increase of 3.7 percent.
Total establishment count grew by 378 year-over-year in King County, a 0.42 percent increase.
Average covered employment for the quarter increased 5,703 year-over-year from 313,507 to 319,209, a 1.8 percent increase in employment.
Average weekly wages in Q3 rose $52 in Pierce County from the year prior, equating to an annual wage increase of $2,704, representing a 5.3 percent annual increase.
Establishment count grew by 487 from 23,000 to 23,487, representing a growth rate of 2.12 percent.
Average covered employment for the quarter increased 4,998 year-over-year from 289,148 to 294,145, a 1.73% increase in employment.
Average weekly wages in Q3 rose $41 from the year prior, equating to an annual wage increase of $2,132 from $59,176 to $61,308, a 3.6 percent annual increase. Establishment count grew by 109 from 21,777 to 21,886, representing a growth rate of 0.5 percent.