Category Archives: Employment

Poulsbo store hosts state’s first Walmart training academy

20060124-061050-pic-244474290_5739339_ver1-0_640_480-1The inaugural class of Walmart’s first training academy in Washington will don caps and gowns in Poulsbo next week.

The new training center at the Poulsbo Walmart Supercenter is among 200 the retail giant plans to open in the next year.

The academies are aimed at helping department managers and hourly supervisors gain retail skills and the knowledge needed to run their specific departments, according to a news release. Participants receive two weeks of hands-on training in classrooms and on the sales floor.

A ceremony for the Poulsbo academy graduates is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Kitsap entered fall with more jobs and a growing labor force

More jobs are available in Kitsap this fall than in previous years, according to the state Employment Security Department.

But a growing labor force has contributed to a higher unemployment rate in the county.

Jobs in Kitsap

chartimgA preliminary estimate showed 89,600 non-farm jobs in Kitsap in October, an increase of 900 from October 2015.

 

Of the new jobs, 700 were created in the government sector while 200 were added in the private sector.

The state has consistently reported more jobs in Kistap this year than in 2015, and significantly more jobs than in 2014. There  were about 2,600 more jobs in the county in October 2016 than in October 2014.

Employment/unemployment

Nearly 111,500 Kitsap residents were employed in October, according to Employment Security, marking an increase of 1,460 from October of last year.

The county’s labor force — the total number of people working or seeking work — grew by more than 2,400 over the same period, topping 118,300 in October.

Growth in the labor force has contributed to a higher unemployment rate in the county this year compared with 2015.chartimg-1

For statistical purposes, people are only counted as “unemployed” if they are actively seeking work. So as more people join the labor force and look for work, it can cause the unemployment rate to rise.

That appears to be the case in Kitsap, where the unemployment rate rose from 5.1 percent in October of 2015 to 5.8 percent in October of 2016, despite more residents becoming employed.

Kitsap company honored for hiring veterans

global-gov-services-logoThe state honored a rapidly-growing ship maintenance company in Kitsap County last week for its commitment to hiring veterans.

Former service members comprise more than half of the workforce at Global Government Services in Bremerton, according to a news release from the Employment Security Department. 

Global Government Services hired 96 full-time workers in the past year, including laborers, helpers, welders, electricians, machinists and mechanics. It plans to hire another 100 employees in the coming year, according to the release. 

Global was among 12 businesses across the state honored for creating employment opportunities for veterans. 

“These companies’ commitment to hiring veterans is truly exceptional,” Employment Security Department Commissioner Peinecke said the in the release. “I hope other Washington employers will be inspired and follow their lead.”

The state’s WorkSource program placed nearly 7,500 veterans into jobs between July 2015 and June 2016.

Employers interested in hiring veterans can learn more at the WorkSource website.

Poulsbo coworking office will open in 2017

static1-squarespaceA coworking space aimed at serving telecommuters, freelancers and entrepreneurs is slated to open next year in Poulsbo.

Vibe Coworks has leased a 5,300-square-foot space in the top floor of a new commercial building planned on Eighth Avenue, according to a news release.

The building, designed by Rice Fergus Miller, is expected to be completed by Tim Ryan Construction in the fall of 2017.

Poulsbo native Alanna Imbach and her husband, Marcel Imbach, are the creators of Vibe Coworks. They’ll be relocating from New York City to start the business.

“We’d had phenomenal experiences with coworking communities in NYC, and knew the timing was right to bring something like that to Kitsap,” Alanna said in the release.

Vibe Coworks will provide Kitsap residents a flexible alternative to commuting, working from home or working out of coffee shops. The Imbaches believe Seattle-area employers also may be interested purchasing memberships at Vibe for employees who want to live in Kitsap.

The space will feature conference rooms, offices, individual phone/video booths, event space, a balcony, lockers and a coffee shop-style community kitchen, according to the release.

See the Vibe Coworks website for more information.

Census acknowledges data gap that led to faulty fast ferry numbers

The U.S. Census Bureau has acknowledged a data gap in one of its online applications that led Kitsap Transit to publish untrue statements about local commuter trends.

While fact checking campaign materials for Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry sales tax proposal, the Kitsap Sun discovered Census’ OnTheMap employment mapping tool doesn’t display civilian Department of Defense jobs, even though documentation for the application stated those jobs were included.

The omission was readily apparent in Bremerton, where defense jobs represent a large segment of the labor market.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility employed about 11,000 workers in 2014, the most recent year OnTheMap has data for. But OnTheMap showed only 218 jobs in the area of the shipyard.

The Sun contacted the Census Bureau regarding the discrepancy on Oct. 12. At first, bureau representatives were unable to confirm whether shipyard jobs were included in OnTheMap data. Then on Friday, Census provided this statement:

“The U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap tool does not include civilian employees of the Department of Defense and Armed Forces.

“We have updated the application documentation for the tool to reflect this exclusion. We are committed to providing data that gives an accurate snapshot of our nation’s communities.”

Without the disclaimer regarding civilian defense jobs, OnTheMap presented a skewed snapshot of many communities like Kitsap with a strong military presence. The Department of Defense employs nearly 800,000 civilians, according to its careers website.

By relying on the incomplete Census data for its research, Kitsap Transit drew the incorrect conclusion that more Kitsap residents work in Seattle than work in Bremerton — a talking point that helped bolster the case for fast ferry service across Puget Sound.

Kitsap Transit removed fast ferry materials that referenced the claim after the discrepancy in OnTheMap data was brought to light.

We don’t know how many other local public agencies have used OnTheMap for planning.

Puget Sound Regional Council spokesman Rick Olson said council staff do not use OnTheMap for research, but do recommend the tool to people looking for a quick overview of commuter trends.

Including civilian defense jobs in OnTheMap would be a useful service to the public. Users of the application will at least now be warned a large gap exists in the data.

Minimum wage initiative would affect thousands of Kitsap workers

20060124-061050-pic-985377851_5739340_ver1-0_640_480A minimum wage initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot could boost pay for thousands of low-wage Kitsap County workers, according to analysis by a state economist.

But nailing down exactly how many jobs would be affected if the initiative passed is no easy task.

If approved, Initiative 1433 would incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage from the current $9.47 an hour to $13.50 an hour in 2020.

To help understand the implications of the initiative, state Employment Security Department economist Scott Bailey created a hypothetical scenario in which a $13.50 minimum wage was applied to 2015 labor markets in each county. He used a $12.23 minimum wage to account for inflation between 2015 and 2020.

B0013070067--582128For job and wage data, Bailey turned to a database of quarterly wage records.

The records include most jobs covered by unemployment insurance, but exclude federal jobs, private household employment like nannying, and home health care workers.

Bailey also noted the records capture three-month periods, which makes it difficult to create an exact point-in-time job count, since individuals move in and out of labor markets, and many jobs are short-term.

With all those caveats in mind, here were key takeaways from Bailey’s analysis of Kitsap County’s labor market in 2015:

— Somewhere between 3 percent and 6 percent of non-federal jobs in Kitsap paid minimum wage ($9.47, plus or minus 18 cents).

— Somewhere between 19 percent and 26 percent of non-federal jobs paid less than $12.23 an hour (the equivalent of $13.50 in 2020). That was between 9,000 and 19,000 jobs.

— Jobs paying less than $12.23 an hour accounted for 8 percent of Kitsap’s non-federal payroll.

— Payroll would have to increase by about 1.2 percent to meet the minimum wage requirement under 1433, a change of about $29.7 million.

Bailey also took a statewide look at what industries would most be affected by the minimum wage hike, again using 2015 labor market numbers.

This chart shows the percentage of jobs by industry paying less than $12.23 an hour (the equivalent of $13.50 in 2020):

State predicts an increase in holiday season hiring

The holidays should be brighter this year for seasonal workers in Washington.

State economists predict increased holiday hiring by retailers this fall and winter, after two years of decline.

Employment Security Department projects 12,726 holiday hires statewide in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with 10,542 in 2015.

The same report forecasts 375 hires in Kitsap county this year, up from 333 last year.

General merchandise stores do the bulk of the hiring.

“Healthier wage growth amidst an improving employment situation should help raise holiday sales to a level that boosts hiring,” Turek said in the release.

2016-holiday-hiring

Fourth quarter retail sales surged in the past few years, but seasonal staffing didn’t followed suit.

Turek told me statewide holiday hiring peaked in 2013 at 16,500. Hires dropped to 14,753 in 2014 and plunged to 10,542 in 2015, falling well short of the state’s forecast.

The decline was partially attributed to retailers moving away from brick-and-mortar storefronts to focus on online sales. Downsizing by food stores like Haggen also took a toll, Turek said.

This year, Turek sees fewer stores restructuring and believes improving employment and wages will bolster seasonal hiring.

Opening date set for DICK’S Sporting Goods in Silverdale

dicksDICK’S Sporting Goods plans to open its Silverdale store by the end of the month.

DICK’S will hold “preview days” on Sept. 28 and 29, followed by a grand opening celebration Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, according to a post the store’s website.

Former Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg will appear at the store from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 1. You can click here to see additional grand opening promotions.

The athletic and outdoor gear retailer is setting up shop in a 45,000-square-foot space on the west side of Kitsap Mall. About 30,000 square feet was added to the mall’s footprint to accommodate the store.

DICK’S recently announced it would hire about 70 employees to staff the Silverdale location.

This is the first DICK’S store west of Puget Sound.

DICK’S Sporting Goods hiring in Silverdale

dicksDICK’S Sporting Goods is hiring in Silverdale as it prepares for a September store opening.

The retailer plans to bring on about 70 full- and part-time workers to staff the Kitsap Mall location, according to a news release.

More information about the jobs is available at dickssportinggoods.jobs.

The store will offer clothing and equipment for team sports, fitness, camping, hunting and fishing. The Silverdale location will be one of the first to include a “new and improved footwear section designed to offer a broad selection of sports performance and casual footwear,” according to the release. 

An opening date has not been set.

DICK’S isn’t the only new sporting goods seller coming to town. Sierra Trading Post has been confirmed as a tenant at the nearby Trails at Silverdale shopping center.

Employment stronger, job growth gradual in Kitsap this year

Kitsap County saw incremental job growth through May this year, while overall employment among county residents remained more robust.

Kitsap jobs

Kitsap County employers provided an estimated 88,900 jobs in May, according to preliminary numbers from the state Employment Security Department. That marked an increase of 1,300 from May 2015.

Through the first five months of the year, the number of jobs in Kitsap was up 1.8 percent compared with the same period of 2015.

The largest gain came in the public sector, where jobs increased by 3.5 percent. Private sector jobs increased by less than 1 percent.

Here’s a graphical look at Kitsap job trends:

Employment/unemployment

Overall employment among Kitsap residents has been healthier so far this year than last.

The county’s labor force (the total number of people working or seeking work) numbered 117,400 in May, up 2,568 from May of 2015. And about 2,600 more county residents were working last month than in May 2015.

Kitsap’s unemployment rate hovered at 5.7 percent.

Here’s a graphical look at employment trends: