Out performing the market – partial explanation

It’s been said that The PUget Sound region is doing better than the rest of the country when it comes to the economy.  Who knows if the news of this week changes that, but for now I say I believe it.

One reason is likely our global ties.  Consider the following rough estimate:

Boeing employment in our region: approx 75,000 people

Microsoft employment in our region: approx 40,000 people

Aerospace multiplier (how many jobs does an aerospace job support?): 3.2

IT multiplier (how many jobs does an IT job support?) 3.4

% of Boeing orders from somewhere other than N. America: 71%

% of Microsoft business done outside N. America: d/k – I’ll use outside US employment (91,000) vs inside US employment (54,000) as a proxy and say 60% .

So let’s run those numbers…

Boeing employment plus multiplier (Boeing x 3.2):         240,000

Microsoft employment plus multiplier (Micorosft x 3.4) 136,000

Total employment                                                           376,000

…in four county region (total regional jobs: 1.6 million), that are 60-70% dependent upon the rest of the world, not the US.  And that is a merely small, small sliver of what’s really out there and tied to the global economy more than to America’s.  I didn’t even discuss our ports.

But it’s 20% of the jobs in our region, just from those two large employers alone.

2 Responses to Out performing the market – partial explanation

  1. Ed Stern says:

    Yes, we owe a lot to the cited employers whose prosperity in part is in fact due to international trade and competitiveness, as Bill McSherry points out.
    Then it is even more imperative for these same employers to stay competitive to international trends, technologies and innovations. That is where Washington State and the U.S. overall is at risk – – the roadbed of commerce for the future is intranet and internet borne fiber-optics, with nodes of access as varied as PC’s, laptops, and web-enabled cell phones. We have fallen from number 3 in the world to below number 25 in deployment, and in something of a free-fall in comparison to our international trading partners Japan, China, Europe and even neighbor Canada.
    Our lack of a national broadband policy, and the cacophony of private sector standards and claims of “high-speed” connections that when compared to these same trading partners is at speeds of 1/50th the download, and worse on the upload, leaves us at risk only analogously comparable to a decision by Congress not to build the Erie Canal in the early 1800’s, defer on the Central Pacific / Union Pacific railroad grants during the Civil War, and President Eisenhower to not even imagine an Interstate Highway system in the 1950’s.


    The inclusion of a coherent Telework economic development and alternative transportation demand plan is imperative to bring pressure to bear on these questions. I compliment the foresight of PSRC’s 2040 plan allowing for this, the Association of Washington Cities amending their 2008-2009 Statement of Policy and Resolutions document in June for the same, the Legislature funding the innovative State Telework Pilot Project to the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, and the Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center taking up the serious point of telework as a true TDM alternative, and not simply technology as handmaiden to inter-modal paradigms of the operating assumption of moving workers and goods to distant workplaces physically. refer: http://www.kitsapregionalcouncil.org/telework.html

    Feel free to post any of these comments as a stand-alone authored remark, if so desired. Ed Stern

  2. samkaplan says:

    Great post. Not sure how many employees PACCAR has but 50% of their sales are to international customers. Stabucks is cutting back in the U.S. but continuing to expand overseas. Our video game industry targets international markets. Expeditors is…well, I could go on and on. And, of course, it’s not just companies. International students add $260 million into our state’s economy each year. Plus, there’s the international tourists and investors. In other words, Bill’s hit the nail on the head.

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