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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

February 19, 2015 at 10:05 AM

On jobs, we can’t party like it’s 1999

SEAfredgraph

As the chart shows, Seattle-Bellevue-Everett’s labor market has recovered and more from the Great Recession. The pay and quality of the new jobs is unclear — nationally, they have tended to be worse than what was offered in the jobs killed by the downturn.

But we have another big asterisk. As of December, the metro division had created 184,900 jobs over the previous five years. That’s better than the 163,300 jobs from August 2003 to the pre-recession peak of August 2008. But nationally, this period was the weakest for job creation of any business cycle in the post-World War II period.

On the other hand, the five years before the peak of December 2000 saw 247,600 jobs created here.

The differences are even starker in Tacoma, which only recently recouped its recession losses. Over the past five years, the Tacoma metro division added a net 18,500 jobs. It added 30,200 during the five years before the peak in the mid- and late-1990s. In the run-up to the Great Recession, Tacoma’s employment increased 36,600.

So the Puget Sound region is adding jobs, usually better than most metros. But we’re a long way from making up the gap left by the recession. A big hole in demand remains. Government austerity has taken its toll. And the economy seems to be restructured to create fewer jobs.


Today’s Econ Haiku:

Wal-Mart will raise pay

Does Bentonville understand

Virtuous cycle?


 

Comments | More in | Topics: Seattle jobs

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