Healthcare is now Washington’s top employment sector
After years of being the state’s top employer by number of job postings, the tech sector has been surpassed by healthcare. A recent report indicates that since April of this year, six of Washington’s top ten employers looking to fill jobs were healthcare companies.
In April 2023, Providence Health boasted the highest number of job openings, with 809 postings. That’s compared to Amazon, which ranked as the fifth largest hiring employer with a scant 437 postings that month. In April 2022, Amazon was the top employer with an aggressive 9,306 job postings. At that time, Kaiser Permanente was the top healthcare employer, offering 3,287 postings.
These statistics are representative of the state’s top occupations by job title as well. In 2022, software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers had the highest number of job postings, at 8,563 total. Registered nurses were second, with 7,198 postings.
In April 2023, registered nurses have come out on top with 2,476 job postings. Though that’s a significant decrease from the previous year’s numbers, it still far surpasses the 1,225 openings for software developers. That’s a decrease of 86% from the previous year’s openings. Moreover, software developers dropped from the state’s largest occupation by job postings to the sixth largest occupation, behind retail salespeople, managers, sales representatives, and retail supervisors, respectively.
Even though healthcare companies are posting more job openings than any other industry at the moment, many companies are suffering from inflation, high interest rates and other economic pressures. Hospitals are scaling back, thanks to the rising costs of labor, medication and supplies dating back to 2022.
Despite this, registered nurses and other healthcare professionals are in high demand, with some estimates indicating that there are two openings for every healthcare professional in the market. This is partially due to a longstanding labor shortage and the high turnover rate in the industry. Bedside nurses are in particular demand, even in Seattle’s competitive market.
These market shifts can be hard to weather no matter which industry a person is employed in, but they are to be somewhat expected. After the economic curveball that was the pandemic, companies and whole industries are recalibrating to new norms, including some growing pains along the way.