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Some employers finding it hard to fill positions in Washington state despite relatively few job openings

The state's economy was able to remain relatively stable during the pandemic for the most part due to a large number of tech jobs that could be done at home.

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — A new study comparing the number of job openings in each state has ranked Washington last with a rate of 6% since the fourth quarter of 2021. 

However, if it feels like you're still seeing a lot of "Help Wanted" signs, you are not alone. Experts say it is still an employee's market. 

To break down why Washington is ranked last, labor economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said it's not that there aren't jobs in Washington, but the growth rate compared to other states isn't as high. 

"We have a lot of sectors, especially in urban Washington, that had a lot of stability kind of built in from early on," said Vance-Sherman, who works with the Employment Security Department.

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At the beginning of the pandemic, Washington's leisure and hospitality industry lost 40% of its jobs in two months.

Nationally, the same industry had a job openings rate of 10.5%, which is still higher than Washington's roughly 6%. 

"In Washington, we were buffered by having a very strong tech economy and a lot of workers that could do their jobs from home," said Vance-Sherman. 

With an unemployment rate in Washington at 4.2%, officials in the North Sound say their businesses are struggling to find employees.

The city of Lynnwood is holding a job fair Thursday afternoon with 65 employers like Amazon, Nordstrom and the city itself, hiring for entry-level to middle management jobs.

The fair will be held at the Lynnwood Convention Center from 4-7 p.m. There will also be support for potential applicants looking for resume reviews or interview help.

Register for the job fair for free.