Department of Numbers

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Seattle rose 0.1 percentage points in September 2017 to 4.2%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than the Washington rate. The unemployment rate in Seattle peaked in December 2009 at 10.0% and is now 5.8 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 3.5% in March 2017, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.7 percentage points. You can also compare Seattle unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate September 2017 Month/Month Year/Year
National 4.2% -0.2 -0.7
Washington 4.6% 0.0 -0.7
Seattle 4.2% +0.1 -0.2
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with September 2017 data as October metro level unemployment data has not yet been released.

Unemployment Rate: Seattle, Washington, National

Seattle, Washington monthly unemployment rate chart

Note: Recessions shown in gray.

Seattle, Washington Unemployed

The number of people unemployed in Seattle peaked in February 2010 at 190,427. There are now 102,224 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 72,360 in March 2017, the number of unemployed has now grown by 15,843. Seattle employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Seattle, Washington) is also available.

Unemployed Persons September 2017 Month/Month Year/Year
Seattle 88,203 +3,272 -2,051

Number of Unemployed Persons

Seattle, Washington Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployment Rate
Seattle
Unemployment Rate
Seattle
Unemployed
October
2017
4.1% 4.5%
September
2017
4.2% 4.6% 4.2% 88,203
August
2017
4.4% 4.6% 4.1% 84,931
July
2017
4.3% 4.5% 3.8% 77,823
June
2017
4.4% 4.5% 3.8% 77,416
May
2017
4.3% 4.5% 3.7% 76,782
April
2017
4.4% 4.6% 3.7% 76,067
March
2017
4.5% 4.7% 3.5% 72,360
February
2017
4.7% 4.9% 3.7% 76,759
January
2017
4.8% 5.1% 4.2% 86,129
December
2016
4.7% 5.1% 4.2% 85,856
November
2016
4.6% 5.2% 4.2% 86,787

1. Metro area unemployment rates are now seasonally adjusted. The BLS has started publishing smoothed seasonally adjusted metropolitan area data which makes comparisons to state and national data more relevant than the unadjusted numbers.