For the latest COVID-19 health guidance, statistics and resources, visit:

Workforce data and trends overview

The Washington state workforce data and trends overview includes all permanent and nonpermanent employees in state agencies under the jurisdiction of the governor and other executive elected officials.

It does not, however, cover employees in higher education and certain others, such as emergency firefighters, Youth Conservation Corps members and those who are paid by the state’s payroll system but are not considered state employees.

Some information focuses on the executive branch, which composes about 98.2 percent of the workforce, excluding higher education and commodities commissions. The legislative branch and judicial branch represent the remaining 1.8 percent.

The primary source of the information is the enterprise Human Resource Management System, or HRMS.

Key events affecting the workforce in fiscal year 2020

COVID-19 Proclamation. On February 29, 2020, the Governor issued a proclamation declaring a State of Emergency for all counties throughout Washington because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States and the confirmed person-to-person spread of COVID-19 in Washington.

 This proclamation and subsequent Governor’s proclamations issued to mitigate the pandemic in the state have had an unprecedented impact on the state’s workforce. Government agencies have mobilized to retool service delivery and maintain public health and safety.   

Governor’s Directives

  •  20-05 Freezing Hiring, Personal Services Contracts, and Equipment Purchases. To address the significant decline in state revenues, effective May 18, 2020, for all agencies under the Governor’s direction, the Governor directed a freeze on the following:
  1. Hiring not related to public safety or other non-discretionary activities.
  2. Signing non-essential personal services contracts.
  3. Discretionary purchasing of equipment.
  •  20-08 Furloughs and General Wage Increases. Directed all agencies under the Governor’s authority to pursue the following measures:
  1. Implement a furlough of one day a week as soon as possible, but no later than June 28, 2020, through July 25, 2020, in positions where a relief employee is not required.
  2. Furlough employees where a relief employee is not required once a month from August 1, 2020, through November 30, 2020.
  3. Offer voluntary furlough options to positions where a relief employee is not required beyond the days described above.
  4. Seek an approved plan under the Shared Work program with the Employment Security Department for furloughed employees.
  5. Agencies under the Governor’s authority not implement the 3% general wage increase scheduled for July 1, 2020, for non-represented state employees in Exempt Management Service and Washington Management Service, and non-represented exempt employees making more than $53,000 a year.


Legislative Impacts:

  • HB 2763 Establishing interest arbitration for the nonsupervisory marine employees of the Department of Corrections. These employees run the ferry to McNeil Island. 
  • HB 2739 Shared Leave.  For purposes of the shared leave program, "shortly deplete" means that an employee has 40 hours or less of applicable leave. An employee may maintain up to 40 hours of applicable leave in reserve and may not be required to deplete all leave to qualify for shared leave.
  • E2SSB 5481 Establishing interest arbitration for Fish and Wildlife Officers who rank below lieutenant.
  • SHB 2017 Collective bargaining for certain Administrative Law Judges. Collective bargaining rights are granted under the Personnel Systems Reform Act.
  • SB 6123 Organ Donation Leave. An agency must allow an employee to take paid leave as needed to participate in life-giving procedures if the employee provides written proof from an accredited medical institution, physician, or other medical professional that the employee participated in a lifegiving procedure.
  • HB 2691 Collective bargaining for Language Access Providers. The scope of bargaining for language access providers is expanded to include health and welfare benefits and "other economic matters."
  • 2SHB 1888 Employee Information Disclosure. Month and year of birth and photographs of public agency employees in personnel files are exempt from public disclosure. The news media are permitted to have access to full dates of birth and photographs. Payroll deduction information of public agency employees or volunteers contained in certain records held by agencies is exempt from disclosure. Personal demographic details of individual state employees that are voluntarily submitted to and maintained by a state agency or higher education institution are also exempt from disclosure.
  • E2SHB 1783 Creates the Washington state Office of Equity. The Equity Office is to promote access to equitable opportunities and resources that reduce disparities and improve outcomes statewide across state government.
  • SHB 2730 Military Spouse Employment.  Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA), Employment Security Department (ESD), and Department of Commerce (Commerce) must consult local chambers of commerce, associate development organizations, and businesses to develop a statewide plan to increase military spouse employment.
  • ESB 5165 Discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status. Discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status is an unfair practice and violates Washington’s Law Against Discrimination (WLAD).
  • SHB 2614 Paid Family & Medical Leave. This bill amends the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act by adding definitions related to "casual labor", "paid time off" and "supplemental benefits” and modifying the circumstances necessary to obtain a conditional waiver for premium payments.  This bill also expands the definition of "child" to include a child's spouse. This bill clarifies the waiting period for eligible employees, excludes the supplemental benefit payment from remuneration and cleans up various statutory references within the Act. 
  • E2SSB 6205 Long-Term Care Workers. Home care agencies and the Consumer Directed Employer must adopt and maintain a comprehensive written policy about how they will address instances of discrimination, abusive conduct, and challenging behavior by July 1, 2021.



  • Executive Order 19-01 Veteran and Military Family Transition and Readiness Support.
  • Inclusive and respectful work environments improvement roadmap.
  • State HR Directive 20-02: Workforce Diversity Plans
  • Enterprise IT professional structure implementation.
  • One Washington business preparation and readiness for the implementation of new core enterprise systems beginning with the state financial systems.
  • Voluntary demographic pilot on the 2019 Statewide Employee Engagement Survey gathered demographic and affirmative action data from survey respondents to begin to allow disaggregation of the engagement data for these groups of employees for the first time.
  • Implementation of new affirmative action and demographic data fields in the human resource management system. This information is used for federal reporting and helps state government make better decisions about how we increase representation of underrepresented groups and make our workforce more diverse and inclusive. Providing this information is voluntary for employees.


Last Updated: 08/03/2020
Time Period: N/A
Update Frequency: annually (end of fiscal year)

Last updated
Monday, August 3, 2020
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.