The Seattle metro area's unemployment rate plunged to 4.7 percent in May, according to the latest monthly report (PDF) released today by the Washington State Employment Security Department. Economists generally consider five percent unemployment to be "full employment" (although that's easy for an employed economist to say).
That represents a significant decline from April's 5.1 percent rate at the same time the region's resident labor force grew 0.7 percent. Statewide the unemployment rate fell from 7.0 percent in April to 6.8 percent in May. The national unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.6 percent.
Of course there are reasons to question the accuracy and volatility of such monthly statistics, but as an apples to apples comparison it is clear that Seattle's economy is doing considerably better than much of the rest of the nation. So what's to explain our relatively tight labor market? Clearly our war on cars, our jobs-killing paid sick leave ordinance, our high property taxes, and our incompetent, ornery mayor.