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JUNE 2012
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To all of you who contribute to Seattle's vibrant economy:


Welcome to the latest edition of The Indicator. This issue starts with a timely economic analysis of Seattle's maritime industry by the ever perceptive Chris Mefford. Also this month, Pathways to Careers highlights the importance of job training and continued educational attainment for entry-level positions. Seattle by the Numbers offers interesting insight into the possible link between mortgage rates falling nationally, and King County home prices rising.  Further, we see the tremendous importance of investment in the tech industry as Seattle is ranked first in the nation for tech sector growth. Without fail, the Daily Dozen is a reflection of what you all care about and this month it looks like Old Ballard (and food) tops the list.   


Please enjoy, and as usual, let us know what you think.


Steve Johnson, Director


With guest columnist Chris Mefford 

This month in the Economic Spotlight, Chris Mefford breaks down...  



Maritime connections prominently define this city's heritage, economy, and identity. Seaport activity reminds residents of the role the city plays in connecting the country to the global economy. Navy ships proudly display the region's role nationally. Industrial jobs actively use waterways for their contributions to the local economy.


Urban lifestyles sustain the economy via seaward connections. Ferries of varying sizes bring locals and commuters to and from nearby neighborhoods and outlying suburbs lining the city's harbors and shorelines. Urban housing close-in to Downtown shares piers with tourist activities and destinations, along with the locals' favorite restaurants. Yachts flaunt some of the city's affluence, and the constant presence of sailboats shows broad affinity for the water. 


Visitors come in waves via cruise ships. Dropped off near the city's fish markets, tourists mingle with locals and wholesalers buying and selling fresh seafood. Nearly all restaurants feature local fresh seafood, a prominent visitor draw. Maritime museums and waterfront entertainment venues lead visitor attractions, most notably its iconic opera house evoking giant sails and maritime imagery. 


This robust maritime culture describes Sydney, Australia, which I had the good fortune to visit in May. Aside from the opera house, this rich scene could just as easily describe Seattle. Sydney is slightly larger than Seattle, with 4.6 million people and approximately 2.4 million jobs in its urban area, compared to our 3.7 million people living in our central Puget Sound region with 1.9 million jobs (2010). In this way, Sydney might serve as a role model for Seattle's next wave of growth.


Maritime provides more than a cultural touchstone; it drives economic vibrancy and job growth. The Seattle region's 60,000 jobs directly related to maritime activity include shipbuilding, fishing and seafood, water transportation, boat building, marinas, oceanic research, cruises and industrial activity that use our waterways, including natural resources (OED's 2009 study). Our seaports are among the nation's busiest hubs, connecting the U.S. to important trading partners in the Pacific Rim and China. 


Proximity to maritime has additional benefits for regional jobs and companies. In the Puget Sound region, approximately 580,000 jobs and 105,000 housing units are within walking distance of our shorelines (31% and 17% respectively, based on our cursory analysis). Seafood is the cornerstone of our thriving food and restaurant culture, which feeds Seattle's culture that in turn attracts talent to the region.


As always, a visit to another place makes one better appreciate his own home. 


Bringing partners together to get people the skills they need for jobs, faster.


Seattle Jobs Initiative Entry-Level Jobs Report 

Have entry-level requirements for jobs changed over past decade? Seattle Jobs Initiative has released its latest market study, examining whether skill requirements for entry-level occupations in four key sectors - Professional/Business Services, Logistics, Healthcare, and Manufacturing - have changed over the past decade in the Seattle/King County region. Key findings from the report shows that while the training and educational requirements have mainly stayed static, the skills and job experience of workers in most jobs have increased over the past decade. This research reinforces the importance of skills and education for most individuals to be competitive in these positions. See the full report here.

Seattle By The Numbers is a great way for our readers to stay current on economic and business news through various numerical data. The figures can be national unemployment rates, various economic indicators, Seattle rankings, and data from different industry reports. Check out our favorite stats from May:




For more statistics, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics summary of the Seattle metropolitan area or the Seattle Times' Times Watch indicators.

Want to know what your fellow Daily Digest subscribers are reading? Here are the twelve most clicked-on articles of May:

  1. Eat here now: What's new in Old Ballard 
  2. 9 qualities of successful entrepreneurs 
  3. 5 ways to survive the worst days 
  4. How to build customer trust: 9 rules 
  5. Common networking mistakes we often make 
  6. Why the Alaskan fishing fleet is based in Seattle 
  7. 11 creative ways to boost sales 
  8. Marketing tips: Build your brand on LinkedIn 
  9. Edgy Stadium Place tower scores with Pioneer Square board 
  10. How to pitch a CEO: 4 tips 
  11. What we can learn from 10 startups changing the world 
  12. Four factories 

City Business Casual is back on Thursday, June 14 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at
the W Seattle (1112 4th Ave Seattle). Special guests for this month's theme, Tourism/Hospitality/Restaurants, include: 

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Council

Port Commissioner John Creighton, Port of Seattle  

Steven Ariel, Chef De Cuisine, W Seattle  

Jeff Blosser, President and CEO, Washington State Convention Center

Robert Nellams, Director, Seattle Center / Next 50  

Tom Norwalk, President and CEO, Seattle's Convention and Visitor's Bureau   

They will join business-savvy city staff, business owners, and advocates for a night of introductions and idea-sharing. Please check out our website for more information!

Are you and your friends signed up for OED's Daily Digest? Compiled from over 100 news sources, the OED Daily Digest is the best way to keep up with the latest in business, technology, workforce, industry, real estate, maritime, energy and economic development news in Seattle.
**Some external sites may require a reader subscription for access to full-text articles**
CITY BUSINESS CASUAL - June 14 with a Tourism/Hospitality/Restaurants theme!

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