Region adds nearly 60,000 jobs in 2016

The central Puget Sound economy continues to grow at a fast pace. In 2016, the four-county region added 59,400 jobs — the seventh consecutive year of job growth.

 

During the last five years, job growth has been especially robust. The region added more jobs than during any five-year period since the early 1990s.

The region gained 270,900 jobs between 2011 and 2016, compared to loss of 21,700 jobs in the previous five-year period from 2006 to 2011.

All four central Puget Sound counties — King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap — gained new jobs, but most growth occurred in King and Snohomish counties, at an annual growth rate of 3.25%.

 

Services sector has highest job growth

The services sector, which includes jobs from information technology (IT), business services, and recreation and food services, experienced its highest annual growth rate (4.06%) since 2001.

 

 

Unemployment rate lowest in last decade

Regionwide the unemployment rate dropped by 17% in 2016, to 4.3% — the lowest unemployment rate in the last decade. King, Pierce and Snohomish counties all experienced reductions in unemployment rates over the past year. Kitsap County observed an increase in the unemployment rate from 5.4% to 5.7% in 2016.

For more data on regional employment, check out our latest issue of Puget Sound Trends.

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Growth is the story of 2016 – with more to come next year

Some of our most popular posts in 2016 focused on major growth trends: population, transit ridership, jobs and more. Looking ahead, the region is expected to keep on growing. By 2040, the population for the four counties is forecast to reach more than 4.9 million.

Here’s a look back at some of our top data stories from 2016:

Population edges over 4 million people 

Since 1960 there have been five different times when the region added over 80,000 people.

We reported that population in the central Puget Sound region reached 3,985,040 in April 2016, growing by 86,320 people in the past year. This was the biggest gain this century and the highest growth rate in 20 years. Based on the rate of population growth (about 236 people per day), the region likely surpassed 4 million people in June.

Job gains highest since 2000

The services sector added the most jobs in the last year, followed by retail and wholesale trade, transportation, & utilities.

The services sector added the most jobs in the last year, followed by retail and wholesale trade, transportation, & utilities.

The region started the year building on six years of robust job growth, adding 269,600 jobs since January 2010. That’s 150 jobs per day. The majority of the job gains occurred in King and Snohomish counties. Throughout the year, job growth continued to accelerate, with the region gaining 32,800 jobs in the first six months of 2016.

Total jobs in the region surpassed the 2 million mark and job growth is on pace to meet the region’s forecast of nearly 3 million jobs by 2040.

Transit ridership keeps growing 

Monthly boardings on the region’s transit system were up approximately 3.6% in the first seven months of 2016 and continue to outpace employment and population growth. The region’s transit boardings have grown faster than any other large metropolitan area in the United States since 2005.

More Puget Sound workers living outside the region

More than 100,000 workers commute into the region – about 5% of the entire workforce of central Puget Sound (King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties).

On pace for another record year at Sea-Tac Airport

Over 26 million passengers passed through Sea-Tac in the first seven months of 2016 — 2.2 million more than the record-setting first seven months of 2015 (a 9.4% increase).

You can check out more regional data on our Puget Sound Trends page.  Happy New Year!


PSRC wins awards for work to support manufacturing

PSRC’s efforts to grow manufacturing in central Puget Sound and statewide have received Innovation Awards from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO).

One of the award winning projects: a composite recycling center that transforms carbon fiber scrap into value-added products.

One of the award winning projects: a composite recycling center that transforms carbon fiber scrap into value-added products.

NADO honored PSRC for three efforts that emerged from participation in the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership of the Economic Development Administration.

The designation as a Manufacturing Community has helped the region bring in more than $45 million in federal grants supporting manufacturing.

With a successful launch at PSRC, the Manufacturing Community effort now has a new home at the Washington Department of Commerce, which is working to extend the program’s reach to strengthen communities statewide.

The three award-winning projects are:

Manufacturing Communities Partnership – 24 regions around the country are collaborating to maximize their designation through the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership program.  PSRC took the lead on developing the partnership’s website, which includes a grants list, map, and other resources.

Composite Recycling Technology Center – This is the world’s first facility to transform uncured carbon fiber scrap, previously destined for the landfill, into innovative new products. For the economically distressed city of Port Angeles, the center will create good-paying jobs and train students for the growing field of composite manufacturing, composite structure fabrication, and repair. The project is part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership strategy.

NextGen LEAN – This pilot project tested whether the Next Generation LEAN program could help small- and medium-size manufacturers bring costs down and cut production time to make them more competitive.

All of the award winners are presented on NADO’s interactive “Story Map.”

NADO is a Washington, DC-based association that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.

The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.

For more information about the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership program, contact Sarah Lee at sarah.lee@commerce.wa.gov.

 


Funding available for brownfield clean up and assessment

Grants from the Environmental Protection Agency are available to help jurisdictions fund assessment and cleanup of brownfields.

The Hilltop Community Health Center in Tacoma was built on a brownfield site.

The Hilltop Community Health Center in Tacoma was built on a brownfield site.

Brownfields are industrial or commercial areas that may have hazardous contaminants. If safely cleaned up, this land can be put back into productive use.

Assessment grants can be used to inventory and prioritize brownfields, and conduct environmental site assessments. Cleanup grants are for specific projects like former gas stations or manufacturing facilities.

The VISION 2040 strategy calls for redeveloping brownfields in the region to help revitalize communities, use urban land efficiently, and promote sustainable development.

The deadline for the next round of brownfields assessment and cleanup grants is coming up on December 20.

Resources to help your jurisdiction apply for funding, including an applicant webinar, is available on EPA’s brownfields webpage.

The Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) can provide free review of your draft EPA Assessment and Cleanup proposals.


Panama Canal impacts not settled for region’s seaports

The Panama Canal expansion doesn’t appear to be having much impact of the region’s seaports, yet.

The newly expanded canal opened in June of 2016. It can accommodate vessels with a capacity of 14,000 TEU or containers, compared to previously being limited to vessels with a maximum of 4400 TEU.

This diagram shows the additional capacity of the ships going through the new Panama Canal.

This diagram shows the additional capacity of the ships going through the new Panama Canal.

The larger capacity ship canal appears to have the most benefit for gulf coast states in the shipment of fuels, liquids, breakbulk, and auto imports.

West coast port market share, including the Northwest Seaport Alliance, remains mostly unaffected at this point.

The Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable heard this in a presentation from Michael Zachary of Advisian / Worley-Parsons.

Mr. Zachary also noted routing decisions for container shipping are very complicated.

It may take awhile to understand the full impacts of the new canal.

Additionally, the Roundtable heard from Gary Molyneaux of King County International Airport regarding the Airport Master Plan process, which will be finalized in 2017.

Chris Eaves from SDOT spoke regarding progress towards building the Lander Street grade separation with newly secured revenue from local, state, and federal funds.  The final $40 million for the $140 million project is pending approval by the Seattle City Council.  Construction is scheduled start in 2018 – the new overpass is expected to open in 2020 near Starbuck’s headquarters in Seattle.

For more information on the Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable, please contact Sean Ardussi

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Half-yearly job gains highest since 2000

Job growth continues to accelerate, with the region gaining 32,800 jobs in the first six months of 2016.

In a year’s time, the region gained 64,000 jobs – an average growth rate of 3.2%, between June 2015 and June 2016.

All four counties added jobs. King and Snohomish counties continue to be the major  contributors to regional job growth.

The services sector, which includes jobs from IT, business services and recreation and food services, continues to experience robust job growth — gaining about 34,000 jobs over the past year, 8,000 more than it did between June 2014 and June 2015.

The construction sector grew 7.7%, the fastest annual growth rate between June 2015 and June 2016, while the manufacturing sector experienced slight job declines.

Total jobs in the region have now surpassed the 2 million mark and job growth is on pace to meet the region’s forecast of nearly 3 million jobs by 2040.

For more data on job growth, check out the latest issue of Puget Sound Trends.

 


Oso Recovery Plan wins VISION 2040 Award

Congratulations to the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County! The North Stillaguamish River Valley 2015 Economic Redevelopment Plan has won a 2016 VISION 2040 Award.

Patrick Pierce, President and CEO, Economic Alliance Snohomish County, Bob Drewel, WSU,  Mayor John Nehring, City of Marysville, Council President Terry Ryan, Snohomish County, Josh Brown, PSRC, Mayor Barb Tolbert, City of Arlington, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, and Glenn Coil, Public Policy Mgr, EASC, at the award presentation.

Patrick Pierce, President and CEO, Economic Alliance Snohomish County,
Bob Drewel, WSU,
Mayor John Nehring, City of Marysville,
Council President Terry Ryan, Snohomish County, Josh Brown, PSRC, Mayor Barb Tolbert, City of Arlington, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, and Glenn Coil, Public Policy Mgr, EASC, at the award presentation.

“The Economic Recovery Plan for the communities affected by the Oso landslide is an excellent example of how our region can come together to respond effectively to all stages of disaster relief,” said Josh Brown, PSRC’s Executive Director. “This plan is helping people rebuild their lives after a natural disaster that took its toll on the local economy as well.”

The plan includes action steps and lead organizations to achieve six goals: infrastructure, industry and employment, community and workforce development, resilience and sustainability, placemaking, and rural innovation.

Partners in the work include: City of Arlington, Town of Darrington, Snohomish County, Washington State University, Community Attributes, and Workforce Snohomish.

The awards recognize innovative projects and programs that help ensure a sustainable future as the region grows.

 

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