The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Job Sector Survey is the only comprehensive, on-the-ground assessment of conditions for employers in Seattle and the Puget Sound region.
First conducted in King County in July 2010, the 2011 survey has been expanded to include all four counties in the Puget Sound region. Results will help inform elected officials, policymakers and community leaders when making decisions that impact the local economy.
In July 2011, the Chamber and its partner organizations fielded the second Job Sector Survey with special support from King County, the Prosperity Partnership, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, enterpriseSeattle, the Economic Alliance Snohomish County, the Pierce County Economic Development Division, the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, The Seattle Times and the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development.
Here’s what business operators are saying:
- Small business is the engine of the economy: Businesses with 6 to 100 employees are the most likely to hire.
- Technology leads the way: Sectors expecting to add head count include energy, aerospace and manufacturing, life sciences, information technology and interactive media. Sectors expecting to reduce head count include government, education and transportation.
- The great disconnect: Metrics from individual employers suggest stability—and even growth—but employers’ perceptions of the overall economy are weak. Of the sectors expecting growth, only some say they will hire. Many others expect higher sales or new contracts but won’t hire proportionately. This is especially true for sectors hurt badly by the decline in consumer spending in 2008 and 2009.
- A quest for talent: One in four employers say they have to recruit outside of the county to attract top talent.
- A complex web: There is universal appreciation for the high quality of life in the four-county region, but is less so than in 2010. Tangible items such as proximity to universities, networking and transportation infrastructure have risen in importance since last year.
- Who you know AND what you know: As the economy remains unpredictable, employers grow by peer networking and recruiting top talent.
- Let’s represent! Women- and minority-owned businesses made up a low percentage of employers in high-growth sectors such as manufacturing, life sciences, energy and trade. On the other hand, women and minorities were well-represented in real estate, human services, education, retail, food and professional services.
- Bottom line—education matters: Seventy-nine percent of employers said specific degrees (BA, MBA) would make employees more valuable. Fifty-nine percent said vocational training.
For more information and to view the full report click here.