business hiring

Hiring continues to be strong in Washington, including the Stanwood-Camano area.

The state’s labor force increased by 8,100 people from March to April, including by 1,400 people in the Everett/Seattle/Bellevue area, as more people choose to look for work, according to the state Employment Security Department.

In Snohomish County, the jobless rate was 3% of the 435,969 people in the labor market — the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16. In Island County, the unemployment rate was 5.5% of the 34,786 people in the labor force.

Statewide, the economy gained 13,500 jobs in April.

“It’s good to see the hiring rebound in March continue into April,” state economist Paul Turek said in a news release. “April’s employment gains show the state’s labor market remains strong.”

Eleven industry sectors are expanding, according to the ESD: professional and business services; education and health services; financial activities; leisure and hospitality; other services; manufacturing; information; wholesale trade; retail trade; and transportation, warehousing and utilities.

However, there are still plenty of job openings. Nationwide, there’s an estimated 7.5 million job openings for skilled labor. The top items identified as business owners’ single most important business problem were difficulty finding qualified workers and hiring or trying to hire, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ April report.

Top 10 skills sought by Washington state businesses

  1. Microsoft Office
  2. Software development
  3. Java
  4. Freight+
  5. Python
  6. Microsoft PowerPoint
  7. Structured query language
  8. Quality Assurance
  9. Amazon Web Services
  10. C/C++

Top 10 most advertised jobs

Island County /Average wage     

  1. Personal Care Aides / $26,994
  2. Registered Nurses / $68,490
  3. Retail Salespersons / $32,002
  4. First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers / $59,097
  5. Landscaping and Groundskeeping / $36,721
  6. Construction Laborers / $48,932
  7. Stock Clerks and Order Fillers / $32,202
  8. Social and Human Service Assistants / $37,756
  9. Receptionists and Information Clerks / $33,891
  10. Occupational Therapists / $95,397


Snohomish County /Average wage     

  1. Retail Salespersons / $36,108
  2. Registered Nurses / $82,979
  3. First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales / $50,924
  4. Stock Clerks and Order Fillers / $34,070
  5. Customer Service Representatives / $38,753
  6. Maintenance and Repair Workers / $50,329
  7. First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers / $63,586
  8. Social and Human Service Assistants / $42,153
  9. First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers / $38,325
  10. Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers / $40,926


Top 5 in Washington state /Average wage     

  1. Software Developers, Applications / $136,906
  2. Registered Nurses / $83,414
  3. Computer Occupations, All Other / $107,810
  4. Marketing Managers  / NA
  5. Retail Salespersons / $33,667


Sources: Employment Security Department/LMEA, Occupational Employment Statistics; The Conference Board, Help Wanted OnLine

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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