Olympia's many parks and nature trails make it one of the prettiest capital cities in the country. Despite being Washington's capital, it's only a mid-sized city with a unique small-town atmosphere. It has excellent amenities, including performance spaces and fine dining restaurants. Moreover, Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks and the Washington coastline are all close enough for day trips.
The cost of living in Olympia is 12.8 percent higher than the United States average. The high cost of groceries, restaurants, and homes in Olympia is offset by above-average local wages. Utility prices are also surprisingly low, thanks to Olympia's proximity to a nearby hydroelectric power plant.
Olympia, WA Job Opportunities
The State of Washington and local government agencies are the biggest employers in Olympia. Together they have a combined workforce of more than 30,000, and they provide many of the job opportunities in Olympia.
Health care is also a major industry in Olympia. Providence St. Peter Hospital and Capital Medical Center are among the largest employers in the city. These facilities, with local physician's offices, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and other medical practices, provide opportunities for Olympia's health care workers, including doctors, registered nurses, and physical therapists.
Cashiers and other retail workers will find jobs in Olympia's Capital Mall. The mall boasts more than 100 specialty shops, including JCPenney's, Best Buy, Macy's, and Bed Bath & Beyond. The mall's 10 restaurants and a 14-screen Century Theater provide further opportunities for wait staff, cooks, ushers, and other hospitality professionals.
Olympia, WA Employment Trends
Job opportunities in Olympia have fallen by 0.2 percent over the last year, but the city's unemployment rate of 5.2 percent is still 1.1 percent less than the national average. Economic experts believe the local job market will improve by more than 34 percent over the next 10 years.