OLYMPIA – Washington employers had an estimated 52,000 job vacancies last spring, according to a new report from the state’s Employment Security Department.
More than 78 percent of the vacancies were in urban Western Washington.
Occupations with the most vacancies were in sales, registered nursing and customer service. Industries with the most vacancies were healthcare and social assistance, with 11,000 job openings; retail trade, with nearly 7,000 vacancies; and accommodation and food services, with about 5,600 available jobs.
The findings are contained in the “2012 Job Vacancy and Hiring Survey Report,” which is based on a survey of about 11,700 Washington businesses. In addition to measuring job vacancies in May and June 2012, the report measured the amount of external hiring by Washington employers in the first quarter of 2012.
According to the survey, Washington employers hired nearly 117,800 new employees into new or existing vacancies in January through March. Employers were asked to count only their external hiring, not internal hires or promotions.
Most of the new hires were farmworkers, retail salespeople or cashiers.
Statewide, the average starting wage for employees hired in January through March was $15.45.
In urban areas west of the Cascades, the average was $16.84, while the average in urban Eastern Washington was $12.47.
The average starting wage in rural areas was about the same on both sides of the state: $11.72 on the west side and $11.63 on the east side.
On average, employers reported that it took 29 days to fill their vacancies.
The full report is posted online at https://fortress.wa.gov/esd/employmentdata/docs/occupational-reports/Job-vacancy-and-hiring-survey-report-2012-spring