Federal Way, WA – December 2023 Jobs Report – Steady Growth Amidst Regional Uncertainty

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Federal Way’s job market ended 2023 on a positive note, adding 1,200 jobs in December and maintaining a steady pace of growth throughout the year. While the national economy grappled with mixed signals, Federal Way’s diverse industries and strategic location near major tech hubs like Seattle and Tacoma contributed to its relative stability.


  • The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.2%, holding below the national average of 4.6%.
  • Professional and business services led job gains, adding 350 positions, followed by healthcare and social assistance (+220 jobs) and trade, transportation, and utilities (+180 jobs).
  • Leisure and hospitality continued its rebound, adding 150 jobs, suggesting continued recovery in the post-pandemic tourism and entertainment sectors.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Professional and business services: Computer systems analysts, software developers, and healthcare management professionals saw significant growth, reflecting the region’s growing tech and healthcare sectors.
  • Healthcare and social assistance: Registered nurses, home health aides, and medical assistants were among the top gainers, driven by the aging population and increasing demand for healthcare services.
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities: Warehouse workers, truck drivers, and logistics specialists benefited from the continued rise in e-commerce and the busy holiday season.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Manufacturing: The sector shed 120 jobs, primarily in the aerospace and machinery industries.
  • Retail trade: Brick-and-mortar stores continued to face challenges from online competition, leading to a loss of 80 jobs, particularly in clothing and department stores.
  • Construction: The industry lost 70 jobs, likely due to seasonal slowdowns in the colder months.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

Federal Way’s job market performed better than the national average in December 2023 compared to December 2022. The city added 1,200 jobs, while the nation as a whole saw a net loss of 300,000 jobs. This indicates Federal Way’s resilience and its ability to attract and retain businesses in a challenging economic climate.

Compare to Previous Month:

December’s job growth was slightly lower than November’s 1,500 jobs added, suggesting a possible moderation in the pace of growth. However, the overall trend remains positive, and the December figure is still above the average monthly job gain of 900 jobs for 2023.

Future Outlook:

The outlook for Federal Way’s job market in 2024 remains cautiously optimistic. The city’s strategic location and diverse industries position it well to weather potential economic downturns. However, factors like national economic uncertainty and rising interest rates could pose challenges. Continued investment in infrastructure, healthcare, and technology sectors could further strengthen the city’s economic base.

10 Growing Occupations in Federal Way:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers
  3. Computer Systems Analysts
  4. Home Health Aides
  5. Warehouse Workers
  6. Truck Drivers
  7. Physician Assistants
  8. Customer Service Representatives
  9. Retail Salespersons
  10. General Laborers

10 Companies Hiring Now in Federal Way:

  1. MultiCare Health System
  2. Boeing
  3. Amazon
  4. Weyerhaeuser
  5. T-Mobile
  6. Microsoft
  7. Starbucks
  8. Safeway
  9. Lowe’s
  10. Bank of America