Pacific Northwest Job Market Experiences Notable Growth

November 2, 2021
Author: Mallory Vachon, Ph.D., Sr. Economist

The labor market in Washington began accelerating earlier this year and is now outperforming the national average at recouping lost jobs. During the early months of the pandemic, state employment declined by 11.8% and has improved to 2.2% below pre-pandemic employment, a 0.5% improvement due to job gains since September.

Oregon’s job recovery has been lagging behind the national recovery—employment across the state decreased by 14.5% during the early months of the pandemic and is now within 4.7% of pre-pandemic levels, as compared to 3.3% for the national recovery. A bright spot for jobs, Salem is ahead of the curve and expected to recover all jobs in 2022.

Portland, Seattle and Spokane are estimated to meet pre-pandemic employment numbers in 2023, in line with the U.S. as a whole. The laggard is Eugene, with an anticipated full jobs recovery not happening until 2025.

Read a recent LaborIQ report that outlines the state’s economic recovery: “U.S. Labor Market Performance & Outlook + Pacific Northwest Metro Highlights.”

Pacific Northwest Salary Comparison by City & Job

The salaries highlighted in orange represent the lowest salary for the occupation for the locations listed. These salary recommendations can be a useful tool as you develop your 2022 recruitment and retention strategy. For companies focused on remote work, looking to areas with lower salaries can be a great cost-saving strategy.


LaborIQ® is uniquely intelligent software that helps you identify market-driven compensation demands for 20,000+ jobs across the U.S. to boost talent acquisition, talent retention, and business planning.

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