These Are The 10 Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 3 years ago
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Washington, when considered as a whole, is an above average state for getting a job.

But like all states, there are some cities and towns that don’t have as many opportunities as those around them. These places stick out a bit like sore thumbs in the greater job landscape.

Here at Zippia, we’ve been zig-zagging across the country to help you find the best and worst places in each state to get a job. We most recently set out sites, and data, on Washington to help all the current and future Washingtonians out there.

So after analysis stopped on the 188 cities in the Evergreen state, we were left with this set of the worst places for jobs:

  1. Port Townsend
  2. Aberdeen
  3. Hoquiam
  4. Tacoma
  5. Sequim
  6. Port Angeles
  7. Toppenish
  8. Lakewood
  9. Sunnyside
  10. Ocean Shores

Read on to see why these Washington places might get fired soon.

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How We Determined The Worst Places For Jobs In The Evergreen State

After getting the data for all 600+ places in Washington, we ultimately decided to limit our analysis to any place with over 5,000 people. We believe this makes the analysis more apples to apples.

That left us with 188 places.

We then ranked each place across a number of criteria from one to 188, with one being the worst in any given category.

Finally, we took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the lowest overall score “earning” the title “Worst Place In Washington To Find A Job”.

The criteria we looked at were:




1. Port Townsend

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,106
Unemployment Rate: 7.30%
Median Household Income: $41,719

If Washington played a game of The Apprentice, Port Townsend would be the first one fired off the show.

The town did decidedly below average across the board, but didn’t necessarily rank as the worst in any one category. Port Townsend ultimately finished in the bottom 10% of cities for both recent job growth and future job growth.

So it looks like jobs in the city have gone to port… err pot.

2. Aberdeen

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,779
Unemployment Rate: 9.90%
Median Household Income: $39,872

Aberdeen took the more stereotypical approach to becoming the second worst place for jobs in Washington.

It scored poorly in the triple crown criteria for jobs — unemployment rate, recent job growth, and future job growth. It ranks as having the worst unemployment in the state and the fifth worst prospects for future job growth.

At least the sales taxes aren’t that bad.

3. Hoquiam

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,682
Unemployment Rate: 9.90%
Median Household Income: $31,329

Hoquiam ranks as the third worst place in Washington to get a job.

The town borders Aberdeen and shares many of the same statistics as its neighbor with the exceptions being sales tax and household median income. The resulting difference between the two is negligible.

But, in my opinion, Hoquiam deserves the break consider how difficult it is to pronounce (It’s Ho’-kwee-um according to Wikipedia, but that’s not really helping me).

4. Tacoma

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 200,013
Unemployment Rate: 6.70%
Median Household Income: $50,439

Tacoma is the biggest city on the list by a wide margin, but its size couldn’t help prevent it from finishing as the fourth worst place for jobs in Washington.

Tacoma scored below average across the board, essentially a slightly better version of Port Townsend with a much higher sales tax rate.

5. Sequim

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,527
Unemployment Rate: 7.60%
Median Household Income: $39,093

While the city named itself “Sunny Sequim” because of its distinct lack of rainfall, that name doesn’t transfer to the job front where it ranks as having a relatively distinct lack of jobs.

Low rates of recent job growth (third worst overall) and prospects for future job growth (second overall) have led to less than sunny results on the job front.

6. Port Angeles

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,061
Unemployment Rate: 7.60%
Median Household Income: $41,157

Port Angeles finds itself as the sixth worst place in Washington for jobs.

Much like Hoquiam and Aberdeen, Port Angeles and Sequim are neighbors that find themselves back to back on this list.

Port Angeles actually exactly mirrors Sequim with the only exception being median household income, where Port Angeles wins out over its neighbor by several thousand dollars.

7. Toppenish

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,935
Unemployment Rate: 8.10%
Median Household Income: $29,595

Toppenish isn’t top-ish when it comes to jobs, placing as the seventh worst in the Evergreen State.

The town ranks in the bottom ten places for unemployment rate (seventh worst), recent job growth (eighth worst), and household median income (fourth worst).

The only reason it doesn’t appear higher on this list is a relatively lower sales tax.

8. Lakewood

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: JBLM Real Estate Guide

Population: 58,688
Unemployment Rate: 7.00%
Median Household Income: $42,241

Lakewood ranks as the eighth worst place for jobs in Washington.

Another city that ranked below average across the board, Lakewood performed the worst when it comes to unemployment rate (27th worst in the state) and median household income (28th worst in the state).

9. Sunnyside

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,775
Unemployment Rate: 8.10%
Median Household Income: $32,961

There’s a dark side to Sunnyside and that dark side has to do with job opportunities as the city ranks as the ninth worst in the state of Washington.

Bottom 10 finishes for unemployment rate (7th worst), recent job growth (8th), and future job growth (5th) will do that to a city. And to run salt in the wounds, Sunnyside has one of the lowest median household incomes (8th) in the state.

10. Ocean Shores

Worst Places In Washington To Get A Job

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,512
Unemployment Rate: 9.90%
Median Household Income: $42,382

And last on the list of the worst places for jobs in Washington is Ocean Shores.

The smallest city on the list, Ocean Shores has an unemployment rate that the highest of any city in the state. And while prospects for future job growth don’t look great (5th worst overall) it has, at least, had decent recent job growth relative to the other places in the top ten.

Closing out the books

Based on the data, Port Townsend takes the dubious distinction of being the worst place in Washington for jobs.

Like most states that we’ve looked at, there are certain parts of a state that become better or worse for jobs depending on the local economy. Normally, being closer to the big, productive cities in a state is the best option.

And Washington keeps that trend going.