Chart: Washington state sheds jobs as tech companies lament tight talent pool in Seattle

It may be too early to call it a “double dip.” But Washington state’s job growth slowed in May, as the state lost 700 jobs. The unemployment rate for May stood at 9.1 percent, down slightly from the 9.2 percent last month. It was also down from May of last year when the rate stood at 9.6 percent, but the loss of jobs is concerning.

Even so, the state economy has added an estimated 52,400 jobs since the low point of the recession, according to the report.

In the information category, where a number of high-tech jobs are classified, 100 jobs were lost on a seasonally adjusted basis. That figure comes as a number of technology companies — including Facebook and Zynga — have established branch offices in the state in recent months and as companies like Amazon.com, Tableau and Zulily ramp up hiring.

The market remains red-hot for talented software developers and engineers. Brian Bershad, the Google site director in Seattle, told computer science faculty at a meeting on the University of Washington campus last week that institutions could boost their student enrollment by a factor of 10 each year and they’d still gobble up talented students.

“We are not limited the in the number of positions that we have. We are limited in the number of people that we can find that are very, very good,” said Bershad, whose company employs more than 800 in Seattle and Kirkalnd. “If you were graduating 1,500 (computer science students) per year … we’d probably be hiring in the order of 200 to 300 people.”

Full economic report can be found here.

  • Typohater

    ” Kirkalnd” is spelled “Kirkland”