December 2016 unemployment rate 3.9%, a 20-year low; Q3 retail sales up 7.8%

News on 27 Feb , 2017
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EASC’s January Economic Indicators dashboard, updated to December 2016 data, reflects an overall strong economy heading into 2017. The December 2016 unemployment rate was 3.9% for Snohomish County, which is the lowest December rate since 1997, which was 3.8%.  The December 2015 rate was 5%. This is reflected by strong workforce and employment growth. The workforce grew 2.87% Dec 2015-2016, while overall resident employment grew by 4.1%.
Jobs in Snohomish Co. grew by 1.1% Dec 2015 – Dec 2016. WA ESD reported that growth was attributed to hiring in construction (up 2,100), government (up 1,400), leisure and hospitality (up 1,100) and professional and business services (up 1,000) sectors, offsetting declines in manufacturing (down 2,600), retail trade (down 1,000) and information (down 200).
Other key stats to note include that retail sales for Q3 2016 increased 7.8% from Q3 2015. Real estate vacancy rates for office and industrial uses also declined Q4 2016 from Q4 2015, reflecting a strong, tight market.
Each month EASC publishes an economic dashboard of key stats tracking Snohomish County’s economic well-being. February and March reports will be published late March due to federal reporting schedules.