Department of Numbers

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Seattle fell 0.9 percentage points in January 2021 to 6.9%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage points higher than the Washington rate. The unemployment rate in Seattle peaked in April 2020 at 17.3% and is now 10.4 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 5.5% in November 2020, the unemployment rate has now grown by 1.4 percentage points. You can also compare Seattle unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate January 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
National 6.3% -0.4 +2.8
Washington 6.0% -0.3 +2.0
Seattle 6.9% -0.9 +3.8
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with January 2021 data as February 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 April 2020 at 374,957. There are now 224,303 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 118,005 in November 2020, the number of unemployed has now grown by 32,649. Seattle employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Seattle, Washington) is also available.

Unemployed Persons January 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
Seattle 150,654 -17,290 +82,451

Number of Unemployed Persons

Seattle, Washington Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Washington
Unemployment Rate
Seattle
Unemployment Rate
Seattle
Unemployed
March
2021
6.0%
February
2021
6.2% 5.6%
January
2021
6.3% 6.0% 6.9% 150,654
December
2020
6.7% 6.3% 7.8% 167,944
November
2020
6.7% 6.7% 5.5% 118,005
October
2020
6.9% 7.0% 5.9% 129,711
September
2020
7.8% 8.0% 8.1% 176,932
August
2020
8.4% 9.1% 8.1% 176,716
July
2020
10.2% 10.8% 9.3% 202,777
June
2020
11.1% 10.8% 10.1% 219,368
May
2020
13.3% 12.5% 15.7% 338,837
April
2020
14.8% 16.3% 17.3% 374,957

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.