Yet another historical Spokane economy report

Planting a tree in Spokane Washington, United ...

Image by 350.org via Flickr

From Maximizing Spokane’s Assets – Focus 21 – April 2004:

More striking was the comparison of Spokane’s socio- economic indicators to the State of Washington and the United States – significantly below averages for both. The more startling indicators were:

  • Up until 2000 job growth always exceed labor force and population growth, since 2000 that trend has reversed,
  • Unemployment exceeded 6%, the highest ever in Spokane’s history
  • End of 2003, over 14,000 were unemployed and over 65,000 were registered for new

or better jobs – an indicator of the underemployment in the Spokane area.
Cornerstones of the economy are small business (86% under 20 employees) and a regional business services hub, which includes two growth sectors – health and higher education. Fairchild AFB has a major economic impact on the local economy fueling business services. Primary industries – which also have a major affect on the income characteristics of the economy (typically offer higher than average job earnings) – need to be retained and grown.

This review is a Red Flag to the community that the economic growth Spokane enjoyed in the ‘90’s is over and most likely, with the major declines in the area’s primary metals sector and new global competition, outsourcing and corporate mergers/consolidations, will never return without significant focused effort on economic development, job creation and innovation.

Interesting. This concurs with my own findings across the board.

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