Department of Numbers

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Seattle rose 0.3 percentage points in December 2015 to 5.1%. 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 4.9 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 4.1% in August 2015, the unemployment rate has now grown by 1.0 percentage points. You can also compare Seattle unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate December 2015 Month/Month Year/Year
National 5.0% 0.0 -0.6
Washington 5.5% +0.2 -0.8
Seattle 5.1% +0.3 0.0
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with December 2015 data as January 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 January 2010 at 190,384. There are now 88,664 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 81,932 in August 2015, the number of unemployed has now grown by 19,788. Seattle employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Seattle, Washington) is also available.

Unemployed Persons December 2015 Month/Month Year/Year
Seattle 101,720 +6,927 +2,540

Number of Unemployed Persons

Seattle, Washington Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployment Rate
Seattle
Unemployment Rate
Seattle
Unemployed
January
2016
4.9%
December
2015
5.0% 5.5% 5.1% 101,720
November
2015
5.0% 5.3% 4.8% 94,793
October
2015
5.0% 5.2% 4.6% 90,234
September
2015
5.1% 5.2% 4.3% 83,786
August
2015
5.1% 5.3% 4.1% 81,932
July
2015
5.3% 5.3% 4.3% 84,565
June
2015
5.3% 5.3% 4.2% 83,274
May
2015
5.5% 5.4% 4.4% 87,476
April
2015
5.4% 5.5% 4.3% 85,292
March
2015
5.5% 5.9% 4.6% 89,990
February
2015
5.5% 6.3% 5.2% 103,143

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.