Spokane area employment, unemployment and earnings distribution

Updated to November 2010. The only sectors showing growth year over year are retail, transportation/trucking, education, and health services. The small tech sector in Spokane lost about 7% of its jobs from October of last year. Goods producing, financial services, professional services, leisure and hospitality (including restaurants) all lost jobs.

The official unemployment rate is now at 8.4%, up from 8.1% the month before, and equal to the unemployment rate in Nov of 2009.

Government, health care and education now account for 41% of all earnings in Spokane County with government and health care overwhelmingly dominating the local economy.

All data comes from www.worksourceexplorer.com

Not shown here – but approximately 20% of all local income comes from “transfer payments” – which are payments without a current service or product offered in return. These include, especially, unemployment compensation, retirement pension incomes and other sources, most of which originate from the government. Some of these are translated into purchases in the health care sector so they may appear twice in the data. It seems likely that perhaps 50% of all income in Spokane MSA is in the government/healthcare/transfer payment category; a majority of health care is paid for by the government (Medicare for the elderly who account for a large segment of all health care costs, Medicaid, and benefits for the large government sector workforce).

Spokane has an unusual economy.

Update: Gallup survey finds large decrease in those with employer provided health benefits since 2008 and a simultaneously large increase in those with government provided health benefits. For many, that translates into increased “transfer payments”.

The increase in those with government healthcare likely stems from an increasing number of baby boomers becoming eligible for Medicare, as well as a continuing high unemployment rate, which is moving more Americans off employer-based plans and increasing the percentage relying on Medicaid


One Response to Spokane area employment, unemployment and earnings distribution

  1. Pingback: Government’s likely decreasing role in Spokane area employment « Spokane Economic And Demographic Data

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