EMPLOYMENT: Not only are there fewer jobs, but many pay less than $10 an hour

More than 40 percent of recent statewide job openings paid less than $10 an hour, according to a spring job vacancy report released by the state Employment Security Department.

Only 8 percent of statewide job vacancies paid $30 an hour or higher.

In addition to low wages, job openings fell 35 percent to 32,635 in the spring of this year from 50,593 in the fall of last year.

Industry sectors with the most job openings were health care with 7,517, retail with 4,062, and hotel and food service with 2,990, the survey shows. By occupation, demand for nurses remained high at 2,317 openings, although that number dropped by nearly half from last fall, according to the survey.

The data also show that King County had 42 percent of the spring job openings, followed by 10 percent in Pierce County, 7 percent in North Central Washington and 6 percent in Snohomish and Spokane counties.

For more on the full Washington State Job Vacancy Survey report go to

Rolf Boone, The Olympian