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


In the past two weeks economic development professionals from Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Jordan, and Bulgaria have visited Seattle to learn about the economic development priorities and strategies of Seattle and the region.  As they tell their stories, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to enjoy the blessing of a strong and diverse economy and all the natural and people powered assets that have led to our great success.  I am also reminded how dependent our economic well-being is on relationships with people who live around the world, and that our fortunes are interconnected.   


In this issue of The Indicator, Chris Mefford writes about the importance of international trade in our economy, and the Seattle Jobs Initiative will share its research on how new restrictions the federal government is planning on financial aid will make it harder for low-skilled working adults to get the education and training they need to succeed in our economy. 


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...  



Regional economies grow or shrink based on the balance of economic resources (people, money, goods and services) that flow into and out of the region. The fundamentals of regional economic growth, therefore, rely on our ability to export goods and services, and on international demand for Washington State products.


Washington, known for its abundance of natural resources, exported almost $7 billion dollars in agricultural products and lumber in 2010.[1] Airplanes, by far the state's largest commodity export, bring $24 billion to the regional economy. Across all industries, the State's total physical exports were valued at $64 billion in 2010, supporting about 180,000 jobs.


Our region also exports many services to other countries, satisfying international demand for local talent, experiences and innovation. While export of physical products remains strong, the number of service sectors with international activity is an impressive new component of the statewide export base.


Washington's leading experts in Global Health export their knowledge and provide health care services around the globe, supporting more than 2,500 local jobs, possibly as many as 5,000 jobs.[2] In Education, Washington's colleges and universities export training to international students who spend over $450 million on tuition and living expenses in the State annually.[3] Washington Financial Services companies take in investments and sell securities for clients around the world. Architects and Engineers provide design services, along with research and development transmitted globally. Both sectors export an estimated $3 billion combined.3 Tourism is another export activity, providing experiences to people coming to the Northwest from all over the world, infusing the State's economy with over $3.5 billion3dollars generated elsewhere per year. Our region's Software strengths have evolved into Information and Communications Technology products, now downloadable from locations worldwide.


The Washington Council on International Trade and the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle are producing a report incorporating Services exports with more traditional export goods. Total services exports may exceed the value of commodity exports and support as many or more jobs.3 The study also highlights the importance of import activity to the State.


Washington exports bring tens of billions of dollars to the local economy and support hundreds of thousands of jobs. Our prosperity and economic vibrancy is bolstered by international demand for goods, commodities, resources and increasingly, services which originate in Washington. 

[1] WISERTrade, 2012.

[2] Washington Global Health Alliance, 2009.

[3] NAFSA: Association of International Educators, 2011.



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


New Restrictions to Pell Funding Impact Low-skill Community College Students

Recent federal legislation will prevent students without a high school diploma or the equivalent who enroll in college for the first time after July 1, 2012 from accessing federal financial aid, including Pell grants.


This cost-saving measure by the federal government will have a disproportionate impact on community college students, and in particular older, low-income and minority students, and on innovative community college programs geared toward helping lower-skill students succeed.Read more in Seattle Jobs Initiative's Beyond Headlines.  




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 April:




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 April:

  1. The 7 restaurants that define Seattle dining now 
  2. How seven simple words can save a business conversation gone wrong 
  3. Most popular cities: Seattle #1 
  4. The most and least peaceful places in America: Seattle #3 
  5. Best and worst jobs of 2012 
  6. Ballard home featured on MSNBC's "Listing of the Week" 
  7. Construction begins on Seattle waterfront Ferris wheel 
  8. 9 ways to get more out of Google Analytics 
  9. 3 hot demographics your business can profit from in 2012 
  10. Stop working more than 40 hours a week 
  11. Seattle has four of only eight certified organic restaurants in the U.S. 
  12. 7 tips for naming your business 

City Business Casual is back on Thursday, May 10 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Mayflower Park Hotel (405 Olive Way)
.  Special guests for this month's theme, What's Next for Green Business?, include: 

Mike O'Brien, Seattle City Councilmember

Kevin Burrell, Executive Director, ECOSS

Kevin J. Dingle, President/Founder, Sustaining Structures

Ray Hoffman, Director, Seattle Public Utilities

Dave Low, Director of Sustainability Practices, Kidder Matthews / 2030 District 

Rico Quirindongo, Principal, DKA Architecture / AIA  

Jill Simmons, Director, Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment

Yale Wong, CEO/Founder, General BioDiesel 

They will join business-savvy city staff, business owners, and advocates for a night of introductions and idea-sharing. Includes Happy Hour pricing and $7 validated parking. 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 - May 10: What's Next for Green Business? 

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