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Economic Impact Study

Seattle Music Industry's Economic Impact

Direct economic impact of the local music industry

In 2008, the music industry in Seattle directly creates 11,155 jobs, with 2,618 businesses generating an annual $1.2 billion in sales and $487 million in earnings. It is estimated that the industry in Seattle generates $90 million annually in state and local sales and B&O taxes. Within the larger King County economy the music industry directly creates 20,193 jobs, with $2.2 billion in sales and $840 million in earnings. The industry in King County generates at least $148 million in tax revenues.

Indirect and induced economic impacts of the local music industry

When the indirect and induced impacts of the industry are considered, the number of jobs supported in Seattle rises to 22,391, sales are $2.6 billion, and labor income is $972 million. Considering King County, the impact grows substantially with 38,862 jobs supported, sales of $4.6 billion, and $1.6 billion in labor income.


Key findings:

  • Exports represent $495 million or 40% of the sales of the industry, bringing in new money to our regional economy and supporting jobs that would not be here if the music industry was not present.
  • Seattle’s strong technology sector has contributed to the greatest change in the industry and provides the greatest growth for jobs and wages in the region, including globally significant companies with a substantial music business such as Real Networks, Amazon.com, and Microsoft.
  • Total economic impacts as measured by sales and labor income, are larger in the current study than reported in the 2004 study. Sales increased by 17%, labor income rose by 72%, and earnings per worker rose by 75% to $43,691 annually.
  • Since the previous study in 2004, the music industry’s growth in direct employment and revenue levels are consistent with Seattle’s overall economy.
  • For a complete version of the 2008 Economic Impact Study, download or view the entire PDF file.