State Government Employment

  1. Statewide by Biennium
  2. Statewide per Capita
  3. In Thurston County
  4. by Jurisdiction

Data Tables


Washington State employed about 120,000 individuals over the 2019-2021 biennium. This is up from the actual number of full-time equivalent positions in the 2017-2019 biennium.

From 2009 to 2019, the state's population grew faster than the expansion of state government. Between 1993 and 2009, Washington State employed between 16.7 and 17.1 employees per 1,000 residents statewide. Between 2009 and 2021, there were between 15.5 and 16.1 employees per 1,000 residents. Employment for the 2021-2023 biennium sits at 15.4 employees per 1,000 residents.

Washington State is the largest employer in Thurston County, accounting for about 26,000 full- and part-time jobs in 2019. Most state employees in Thurston County work in Olympia or its urban growth area. However, state employees are increasingly working from other areas of the County, especially Tumwater. In 1994, 62% of state workers employed in Thurston County had offices in Olympia; by 2017, only about 52% of such employees worked in the capital city. Tumwater's share of state employment increased from 21% to 34% over the same period.


Washington State Office of Financial Management, Thurston Regional Planning Council