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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Indicators showing jobs and business on the rise in Seattle

5/1/2012  9:19:00 AM
Joe Mirabella  (206)733-9810

Indicators showing jobs and business on the rise in Seattle
Economic Indicators part of Mayor McGinn's Seattle Jobs Plan

SEATTLE - Today Mayor Mike McGinn released new economic data showing that Seattle's economy is moving in the right direction toward recovery.

By the end of 2011, there was a 15.2 percent increase in the amount of business start-ups and a 3.3 percent increase in business income. The indicators also show a 1.6 percent increase in job growth, with the biggest gains in manufacturing and personal services, such as healthcare. Approximately 55,700 businesses are located in the city of Seattle as of December 31, 2011.

"Seattle has been faced with significant challenges the past few years, but these indicators demonstrate the strength and resiliency of our economy," said Mayor Mike McGinn.

Businesses generated $53.8 billion in taxable revenues with $43.2 billion from Seattle-based businesses and $10.6 billion in activity from businesses based outside of Seattle. Out-of-town businesses account for approximately 20 percent of revenues reported in the city.

"The diversity and talent of our business leaders and workforce is proving to be our greatest asset in emerging stronger from this deep recession," said Steve Johnson, director of Seattle's Office of Economic Development.

Seattle employment is projected to total 478,000 jobs in 2012, which is a significant improvement from our lowest point in March 2010 of 462,200. Seattle's unemployment rate was 7 percent at the end of 2011, which is 0.7 percent lower than the metropolitan area and 1.6 percent lower than Washington State.

"While the trends look promising, the data highlights the dramatic differences in Seattle's household income by race. This will not change until we dramatically improve education and training outcomes so that all of the city's residents, regardless of income, have the opportunity to secure one of the thousands of good paying jobs created by our economy," said McGinn.

Additional key findings of the Economic Indicators report found an increase in educational attainment by Seattle residents and 4 percent decrease in income distribution of Seattle households.

"As part of my Seattle Jobs Plan, we committed to measure and report on Seattle's economic progress," said McGinn. "Seattle's Economic Indicators help us keep our finger on the pulse of our local economy, focus our sights on key economic goals, and identify the opportunities and challenges we are facing along the way. From this data, we can facilitate informed discussions and track our progress around shared prosperity."

Since the first report of Economic Indicators in August, 2010, the city is now reporting twice annually on five key indicators of Seattle's economic health: Business Income; Job Growth; Business Start-ups and Closures; Educational System Performance; and Distribution of Income. Visit Seattle Economic Indicators to view the complete report.

The Office of Economic Development will continue to provide updates and analysis of the statistics they are tracking in the coming months.

Seattle Jobs Plan
Mayor Mike McGinn's vision for next generation economic development that creates a sustainable economy with shared prosperity in Seattle was launched in August 2010. It consists of new and existing policies, programs and investments designed to help create quality jobs, protect the environment, and ensure that taxpayers get true value from the city of Seattle's public investments. For more information, visit

City's Office of Economic Development (OED)
OED supports a healthy business environment and empowers companies to grow and compete. We provide services directly to businesses through advocacy, retention and expansion assistance, and workforce development. OED has several financing options for businesses, including options for small to medium to large businesses. Visit to access city services for businesses, and for more information about our office, visit

All Mayor's Office press conferences, town halls and general public meetings are archived by Seattle Channel. Many town halls and press conferences are also broadcast live to the web. Sign up for The Reader, our office newsletter, at our website. And learn more about your neighbors and the mayor's activities on our blog.

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Office of the Mayor

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