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Report: Salaries are up in Seattle, but job growth isn't

(Photo: KOMO News)
(Photo: KOMO News)
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The number of job openings in the Seattle metro area remained unchanged year over year, according to a new report released Tuesday. But the median base pay in the area rose by nearly 2% in December 2019 over the same time last year.

A new job market report from Glassdoor found there were 107,528 metro job openings in Seattle in December 2019. The industry that saw the most growth in job openings in Seattle was energy and utilities, which saw a 24.1% increase year over year. That was followed by industries including supermarkets, beauty and fitness, and biotech and pharmaceuticals.

Media and publishing saw the slowest growth in job openings year over year, down 48.1% in the last month of 2019, according to the report. Telecommunications, and transportation and logistics also saw slow growth in job openings over the past year.

Pay in Seattle rose by 1.9% over last year, to a median base pay of $64,752, according to Glassdoor. The jobs that saw the greatest increases in pay included loan officers, which saw their average pay go up 11.9% year over year, to a median base pay of $55,787. The role of Java developer saw the slowest growth in pay, down 2.6% year over year to a median base pay of $93,392.

According to the report, the jobs in Seattle that had the highest median base pay in December 2019 were data scientists, who have a median base pay of $129,806; pharmacists, with a median base pay of $125,677; and solutions architects, with a median base pay of $124,040. The jobs with the lowest median base pay in Seattle, according to the report, included baristas at $31,277, research assistants at $34,564, bank tellers at $35,954 and cashiers at $36,256.

The report also found there was a 54.3% increase year over year in open jobs for smaller employers with less than 51 employees. For larger employers, which employ between 1,001 and 5,000 employees, job openings decreased by 18.8% year over year.

Across the country, job growth slowed by 1.8% year over year, to 5.6 million open jobs as of December 2019, according to the report. Median pay rose by 2.3%, with a median base pay of $54,614, according to the report.

Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao said the decline in job growth across the country “ends an otherwise strong 2019 for the labor market on a sour note.”

“However, December’s surge in pay growth is a welcome sign for workers following nearly a decade of sluggish growth,” he said in a statement.

“While the acceleration in pay growth is good news for workers today, the declining demand for new workers raises the question: how long can the economy expand if employer demand for workers wanes? With January being the busiest month for job seekers, continued declines in 2020 job growth could prove a challenge for those with new job resolutions.”

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