Washington State is projected to employ about 118,000 individuals over the 2019-2021 biennium. This is up from the actual number of full-time equivalent positions in the 2017-2019 biennium.
Since 2009, the state's population has grown 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 2019, there were between 15.5 and 16.1 employees per 1,000 residents. Budgeted employment for the 2019-2021 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.