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Distressed areas list

Distressed areas are counties where the three-year unemployment rate is at least 20 percent higher than the statewide average. For more information about distressed areas, see Chapter 43.168.020 of the Revised Code of Washington, which took effect in 2005.

The 2023 list of distressed areas (Washington state counties) is compiled by averaging the employment and unemployment numbers for the prior three years. We create the distressed areas list in cooperation with the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is updated annually, usually in the spring. Additional reports are available for download in the report library.



2023 Distressed Areas

Three-year average unemployment rate (January 2021 - December 2023), Not Seasonally Adjusted
Distressed areas have an unemployment rate greater than or equal to 5.4%