The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber has released the latest edition of the Pierce County Economic Index (PCEI), an annual report that aims to gauge the health of the county’s economy.

The report, authored this year by economist Neal Johnson, principal and owner of Tacoma-based Sound Resource Economics, combines information on employment patterns, income levels, taxable sales, housing and real estate sectors, and cargo volumes at regional ports to provide a better understanding of the local economy.

In addition to the PCEI, this report provides forecasts on the labor force, the unemployment rate, and nonfarm employment within Pierce County. As with last year’s report, this year’s report provides a forecast for total taxable retail sales. New this year are separate forecasts for select sectors of retail sales. this report also includes Housing Activity and Housing Affordability Indices for Pierce County, with a discussion of factors that will influence those indices over the next year.

The PCEI was released during the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s annual Horizons Economic Forecast in January. Here are some highlights from the report:

EMPLOYMENT

8,500 — Average number of jobs added in Pierce County annually between 2014 and 2017

9,980 — Number of jobs added in Pierce County in 2018

9,700 — Estimated number of jobs to be added in Pierce County in 2019

336,000 — Estimated number of total jobs in Pierce County by the end of 2019

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

3.8% — Vacancy rate for warehouse space in Pierce County in 2018 (Q3)

$0.65 — Average lease rate per square foot for warehouse space in Pierce County in 2018 (Q3)

8.1% — Vacancy rate for office space in Pierce County in 2018 (Q3)

$22.70 — Average lease rate per square foot for office space in Pierce County in 2018 (Q3)

4% — Vacancy rate for retail space in Pierce County in 2018 (Q3)

$17.47 — Average lease rate per square foot for retail space in Pierce County in 2018 (Q3)

TAXABLE RETAIL SALES

$15.8 billion — Total real taxable retail sales in Pierce County (ending June 30, 2017)

$17.1 billion — Total real taxable retail sales in Pierce County (ending June 30, 2018)

Top 5 taxable retail sales in Pierce County (ending June 30, 2017) by industry:

  • $8.42 billion — Retail Trade
  • $3.04 billion — Construction
  • $1.68 billion — Accommodations & Food Services
  • $908 million — Wholesale Trade
  • $720 million — Information Services

The complete report is available online to members here.


Thumbnail photo by altonwoods via creative commons.