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United States of America (USA) - Washington

Washington State is on the Pacific coast of the United States and is not to be confused with Washington DC, the capital of the country, which is on the Atlantic coast. It was the 42nd state to be admitted to the Union and has a population of almost 7 million people. The majority of residents live in the Seattle area, which is one of the main commercial and industrial areas of the state, while other cities such as Spokane and Tacoma have much smaller populations. The rest of the state consists mainly of forests and agricultural areas.

The state shares border with British Columbia, which is one of the Canadian provinces and the states of Oregon and Idaho. The climate varies across the state. The western part of the state is what is known as an oceanic climate, while the eastern part has a semi-arid climate. The summers are mild but dry, while the winters are mild but wet.

Washington – Employment

Washington State has a number of international corporations based there and as such is ideal for those who have professional qualifications in areas such as IT and aircraft manufacture. Microsoft has its headquarters in the state and Boeing has a presence there too. If you are already working for one of these companies then transferring internally to Washington is an option, and this will make it easier to obtain a work permit. Unskilled workers are unlikely to be able to obtain a job with either of these companies.

Other industries include timber and tourism, as well as agriculture. The state of Washington produces crops which range from strawberries to barley and the number of vacancies in this area has grown in recent years. There are many employment opportunities in the tourism sector, particularly in hospitality, and the retail industry also offers a large number of vacancies, though these will be fairly limited to the larger cities such as Seattle. Finding work in a smaller town may prove to be difficult.

The state has an average unemployment rate of 9%, which is on a par with many other states, although the situation is beginning to improve as more jobs are being created.

Washington – Property

The main residential area is Seattle and there are several desirable districts in the city for those looking to move there. The district of Ballard, for example, has become a very trendy area, catering for the artistic resident and filled with bistros and boutiques. This area attracts many younger people. Belltown is another area which attracts mainly younger people as it is filled with entertainment venues and clubs. Apartments are the main type of accommodation in the area.

Capitol Hill is a Seattle district that is filled with period properties and studio apartments. This district has a popular gay quarter and is filled with shops and clubs. This is another area aimed mainly at the younger generation. Freemont is another area aimed at the artistic resident and has a large student population. There are many studios and apartments in the area and property – both for rental and purchase – is very reasonably priced.

The International district is filled with residents of all nationalities though mainly Asian. This is a colourful part of town and houses and apartments in the area are much sought after. Pioneer Square is part of the original settlement of Seattle and attracts residents of all ages. The area has many restaurants and coffee houses as well as art galleries and book stores. Property ranges from apartments to houses and is a slightly expensive part of the city.

The Queen Anne District has some excellent views of the city and is one of the most affluent districts of the city. The architecture and location mean that it is a much sought after area and property prices may seem to be a little higher than in other areas. The University district is filled with low-priced accommodation as the area caters for the many students that take up residence there. Much of the property is rented and there is a wide range of shops to suit all budgets. The district of West Seattle offers affordable housing for families in the form of large apartments and detached family homes.

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