September 16, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Other News

Amazon Rising: Washington startup now Seattle's 2nd-largest private employer

Amazon’s boom continues, and the impact continues to resonate throughout its hometown of Seattle and across the region.

The company now employs 53,500 in the Seattle region, The Seattle Times reports, making it the region’s second-largest employer. Boeing leads private-sector employment with nearly 70,000 workers, the newspaper reports. Amazon’s rise has helped diversify the regional economy.

“The last half-dozen years in particular, we’ve seen that diversification accelerate due to Amazon’s growth and their presence as a pillar equal to Microsoft and Boeing from the private sector,” said Josh Brown, executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council. Combined with yet another pillar, the 89,700 people employed at military bases near Tacoma, Everett and Bremerton, the region has seen an "amazing, historic period of job growth," Brown said.

And the average Amazon job pays well too, the newspaper noted, relying on an economic study that used data provided by the company. The average salary was $179,000, and total wages and compensation for Seattle-area employees came to $9 billion.

This story will continue to unfold as the company seeks to hire another 10,000 workers in the Seattle area and another 20,000 across the country in places like Dallas, Nashville and Chicago.

“The hiring push comes amid one of the tightest job markets in 50 years, and the company says the recruiting is separate from its typical seasonal hiring of thousands of temporary employees to staff its warehouses and transportation networks for the holidays,” reporter Benjamin Romano wrote. “Globally, Amazon had 647,500 full- and part-time employees at the end of 2018.”

Amazon’s impact on Puget Sound real estate is just as significant as its payroll. The e-commerce company has leased most of a new three story warehouse in South Seattle that includes specially-designed ramps and floors that can be accessed by semi-trucks, The Wall Street Journal reports. The goal is to speed up delivery times. The building also includes freight elevators that can carry forklifts.

“You have to go vertical because you can’t find a 50-acre space in the middle of a city close to the customer,” said Hamid Moghadam, Prologis’s chief executive.

That growth of the company and the overall economy has also strained the highways and housing markets, but Brown sees progress there too.

The region is investing more money per capita on transportation infrastructure than anywhere else in the country, he said. And housing construction has increased, with 27,500 new units added in the 12 months that ended in April.

« Back to Main
Renew Ex-Im Now

Help Washington growers, manufacturers get their products to the world

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington is the most trade-driven station in the nation per-capita, with more than 40% of our jobs connected in some way to trade. Manufactured goods make up 82% of our state's exports and Washington is the third-largest exporter of food and agriculture products in the country.

That's why it's critically important that Congress and the presidential administration renew the charter for the Export-Import Bank, which is set to expire at the end of September.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that provides export credit to oversees purchasers of U.S. goods and services. It contributes to the economy by supporting American jobs, and it doesn't cost taxpayers anything. Since 2000, the Ex-Im Bank has provided nearly $15 billion to the U.S. Treasury...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
Ideas for Career-Connected Learning

How Vocational Education Got a 21st Century Reboot

With schools across 10 states, the P-TECH program prepares its students for good jobs that corporations pay well for.

The P-TECH idea was invented in 2010, when then-IBM CEO Sam Palmisano was chatting up his friend Joel Klein, then New York City's schools chancellor. During a rain delay at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Palmisano told Klein that the tech industry was having trouble finding young people with the skills it needed. Klein proposed opening a six-year school with the City University of New York and curriculum input from IBM. Students could work IBM internships and, if they passed a company certification test, would be first in line for job interviews at IBM. Palmisano agreed. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the plan in September 2010 and gave the partners a year to open the school.

When Klein and Palmisano shook on the deal, vocational education was just beginning to emerge from the academic backwater where it had languished for decades. Conceived a century ago so high school students could learn a trade if they weren't going to college, vocational education had developed a reputation as a dumping ground for students who weren't doing well in regular academics. Harvard's influential Pathways to Prosperity report, released in 2011, warned that nearly two-thirds of new jobs of the 2010s would require more than a high school education -- yet only 40 percent of Americans had obtained a bachelor's degree or associate's degree by their mid-20s.

By contrast, the report noted, 40 to 70 percent of high school kids in many European countries spent three years in career programs that combined classroom and workplace experience, where they earned diplomas or certificates strongly valued in the labor market...

Read the full report in Politico