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Economy Overview

The Economy Overview is designed to be a quick, high-level summary of a regional economy (county, MSA, or state) to show you the major trends influencing the region. With information on top industries, jobs, demographics, and more, the report combines data from a variety of sources to produce a comprehensive picture of the forces shaping the community. 

To start the report, simply select the region of your choice — county, city, MSA, state, or nation — and click Run. Here we are looking at the economy for the state of Washington. 



Inside the report

The report begins with a breakdown of current year population, employment, and income for our selected region. Notice that under each heading you can see the past five years’ growth, as well as a projection of growth for the next five years.



Following this is a table that includes more key facts and figures about your region of choice. Don’t see the data you want here? You can compare additional regions by using the “Add Regions” box below the table. If you aren’t quite sure what a particular datapoint is, click on the tooltip (the question mark in the blue circle) for more explanation. Use the table below to quickly add and compare metrics across various regions.



2019 Labor Force Breakdown

This donut chart shows the labor force for Washington State. We can see that 6.2 million people are of working age (between 15 and 64 years old), nearly 2.3 million are not in the labor force (meaning that they are not employed, nor are they seeking employment), nearly 4 million are in the labor force (3.75 million of those are currently employed and only 177,000 are unemployed), and 1. 4 million are below the age of 15 (i.e. not part of the working age population). 



Educational Attainment

Below, the population of our region is broken down by highest level of educational attainment. For example, twenty-four percent of people in Washington (nearly 1.3 million) have attended college but did not complete a degree, which means that “Some College” is their highest level of educational attainment. Nearly 23% have a high school diploma, followed by 22% receiving a Bachelor’s degree, which is almost 3% ahead of the national average. 



Historic and Projected Trends


This graph shows the growth or decline of the population, jobs, labor force, or unemployment over a ten year period. Again, the data goes back five years prior (indicated by the solid blue line in the chart), and projects five years forward based on historic trends (indicated by the dotted blue line). It’s important to note that the dotted line is a projection and not a guarantee of what will happen in the future. This is our way of saying, “If current trends hold, this is what will happen.” 


Population Characteristics

This section is built to help you understand how many millennials (people between the ages of 25 and 39) you have, how many people will be retiring soon (the working population that is above 55), and how racially diverse your region is (based on the percentage of minorities). To provide context, each data point is compared to areas of the same size across the nation. In this case we see that Washington’s millennial population is higher than areas with populations of similar size. But Washington also has about the average number of people retiring soon, and is less racially diverse than an average state. 



Net Commuters


The map here shows where people commute to and from for work on a daily basis. You can hover over any one highlighted area to see the name of the county and the number of net commuters, either positive in blue (more people commuting into the region vs. commuting out) or negative in red (more people commuting out of the region vs. commuting in). 

It is important to note that a county with negative net migration may still be drawing in a significant number of commuters each day. For example, Pierce County actually draws the second highest number of daily commuters in the state of Washington. However, it appears red on the map because it loses slightly more than it brings in as a significant portion of its population heads to work in Seattle (King County) every day.  



If you want to see a map with more specific county information, click on the green more detail button underneath the list. This will bring you to our “Occupations by Location” report, which lists all the counties within your selected region, the number of jobs for each county during a specific timeframe, and the number of resident workers and net commuters reporting to each county. 


Industry Characteristics

When evaluating industries, it’s important to use a variety of metrics rather than focusing on just one. Here you can quickly flip between the largest, fastest growing, or most highly concentrated (based on LQ) industries, as well as industries that bring the most money to the region (highest GRP), or those with the highest revenue per employee (earnings per worker) to get a sense of the industries driving your region. 

By selecting the jobs tab, we see that the government sector is Washington’s largest employer and surpasses the national average for government employment (indicated by the gray mark). 


If you click the “Show Detailed Data” link below the table, you can see the job count for the current year and for five years prior, the change in jobs, location quotient, earnings, and more, categorized by industry. To see this information by NAICS code, select “Jump to Detailed Table.”


Business Characteristics


The top companies table on the left includes a list of the companies most commonly listed as the current employer in the region’s worker profiles. To the right, we can see the top companies posting, which shows the companies posting the highest number of job openings through online advertisements. If you click on the business size tab at the top of this section, you can see the number and percentage of businesses in your region broken out by number of employees.


Workforce Characteristics

Workforce Characteristics is the same kind of analysis as Industry Characteristics but focuses instead on the region’s workforce. It shows you the top jobs, growth areas (based on growth %), highest concentrated (based on LQ), highest paying, occupation categories with the most demand (measured by active job postings), and underemployment for your region.


Here we’ve selected underemployment: the blue bars represent the percentage of jobs in the region that require a specific education level, and the gray marks represent the population that has actually attained that level. In Washington, most jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent, while the largest percentage of the population has some college but no degree.


Educational Pipeline

This chart gives you a sense for the region’s talent pipeline, viewed through the lens of academic program completions. 

In our example, we see that the University of Washington has the highest number of graduates in our region with 14,000— by scrolling over the colored bars, we can see that 8,846 Bachelor’s degrees and 5,304 Master’s degrees or higher were awarded in 2018. From 2014-2018 the university experienced steady growth in educational completions. The graduate trend line in the right-hand column provides a quick visual cue to see if completions are trending up or down in recent years.



The “Jump to Detailed Program Table” on the bottom right of the table will show you regional and institutional completions by program (CIP code) within a selected timeframe. 


In-Demand Skills

This final chart displays the top hard skills sought by employers in the region. The gray mark indicates the average demand for those skills nation-wide. This information comes from Emsi’s job posting analytics. In this example, Washington state has far fewer job postings that mention skills like “restaurant operation” than the national average and more postings that mention CPR than the national average.  




We hope this report provides the detailed labor market information you need to make good decisions and drive prosperity for your organization and community. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact our customer service team here. We’d love to learn more about your work and see how we can help!


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