Enjoy your economy, elsewhere it's not so good
The Washington economy is really a tale of two states, in a way, according to a summary analysis from Scott Bailey, a regional labor economist with Employment Security Department speaking to a symposium held today in Tumwater.
“Roughly half the counties in the state have not yet recovered the jobs they lost during the recession that began in 2008,” Bailey said, “and for the rest of the 39 counties — primarily in the metropolitan areas — they are doing just fine.”
King County-Seattle, obviously has added lots of new employment and residents, new construction, etc. But when you look into smaller areas like Wahkiakum, Grays Harbor and Clallam counties, you will see there's not been much of a bounce-back at all. Some are still 10 percent below the jobs levels of 2007 and before.
An even more clear demarcation between Washington state's “split economy” is seen when you compare Eastern Washington and the areas west of the Cascades.
On the dry side, agriculture is a dominant sector, where production is strong this year, but pricing is weak. Mining and forestry are also foundational.
Economist Doug Tweedy from Spokane also noted the significance of military employment at Fairchild AFB and the Yakima Training Center on the dry side.
Transportation, distribution and warehousing are other regional positive impacts, as is the growth of a new medical school that Washington State University is forming in Spokane.
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