The impact of the manufacturing industry on Seattle’s economy is profound. Yesterday, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that Seattle is one of only eight labor markets out of the largest 100 labor markets in the country to experience a net gain in manufacturing jobs in the last five years. Furthermore, a new study commissioned by the Office of Economic Development confirms the importance of manufacturing in the Seattle-area economy.
The Basic Industries Economic Impact Analysis revealed that manufacturing jobs in Seattle grew by 10 percent from 2005 to 2008, while the nation lost nearly 5 percent of its manufacturing jobs during the same time period. Industrial businesses, including manufacturing, make up almost one fifth (18 percent) of Seattle’s total job base and are critical in maintaining a balanced local and regional economy.
Mayor Greg Nickels launched his Industrial Jobs Initiative (PDF) in August 2007 to continue his support for Seattle’s industrial and manufacturing businesses. At the heart of the mayor’s initiative were new land-use recommendations with the goal of maintaining existing businesses and jobs, while encouraging new industries.
The Office of Economic Development regularly supports local manufacturing businesses by providing technical support, access to business resources and assistance in navigating governmental services.