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Report Praises Washington for College Grads' Job Market

PHOTO: Prioritizing clean energy is one reason cited for Washington's strong growth in utility industry jobs in a new report that ranks the state third in the U.S. for a brisk online market for jobs for college graduates. Photo credit: AcrylicArtist/Morguefile.
PHOTO: Prioritizing clean energy is one reason cited for Washington's strong growth in utility industry jobs in a new report that ranks the state third in the U.S. for a brisk online market for jobs for college graduates. Photo credit: AcrylicArtist/Morguefile.
March 31, 2015

SEATTLE - Washington is one of the top three states in the country for its booming online job market for college graduates. A new report from the Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce says only Delaware and Massachusetts have more online job openings per graduate.

It's a significant trend, not only since most employers are advertising online, but in the types of jobs they want to fill.

Jeff Robinson, manager of labor market analysis with the Washington Employment Security Department, says at least one in five jobs advertised online is a managerial or professional position - although there are others.

"In terms of some of the specific occupational groups, rounding out the top three were registered nurses, software developers for applications, and third was heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers," says Robinson. "Those were the top online job ads over the last three months."

Robinson says in the last six months, the other notable trend is an uptick in people reentering the labor force, which increases competition for jobs.

According to the Georgetown report, the fastest-growing occupations in the state are professional and technical fields related to healthcare, which have gone up 40 percent in recent years.

Dr. Tony Carnevale, the report's lead author and director of the Georgetown University center, says there have been additional job market benefits in states where clean energy has been a priority. The report lists the fastest-growing industry sector in Washington as transportation and utilities, with job growth up 73 percent between 2010 and 2013.

"Utilities are growing in large measure because we're switching systems towards other forms of energy, and are moving away from coal and oil," says Carnevale. "We're seeing large investment in utilities in a lot of states across the country."

Carnevale says based on job ads, employers are much more focused on specialization, or how well a person's skills fit a particular job. He says to most companies, specialization matters more than where the person earned their degree.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA