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Jon Talton

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

Category: Seattle/WA economy
February 19, 2015 at 10:05 AM

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

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…


Comments | More in | Topics: Seattle jobs

February 18, 2015 at 11:54 AM

Best Buy to open engineering center in South Lake Union

Best Buy today said it would open a technology development center in South Lake Union, taking the top floor of the Seattle Times Building. Set to begin operations in late spring, the office will employ more than 50 engineers, product managers, web architects and developers in the next year and is expected to expand to…


Comments | More in | Topics: Best Buy, Cloud computing, South Lake Union

February 13, 2015 at 10:23 AM

Vote: What is the Amazon boom cloaking?

As Warren Buffett famously said, “you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.” I’ve been thinking about that lately as I watch workers furious move ahead on one of’s headquarters towers. The online retailer/technology giant is responsible for a huge amount of construction in central Seattle, not only for itself…


Comments | More in | Topics: Amazon, Friday polls, Seattle boom

February 11, 2015 at 11:12 AM

State exports up in 2014, capping impressive decade

Washington’s merchandise exports totaled more than $90.6 billion last year, compared with $81.6 billion in 2013. The year’s total is more than 140 percent higher than the value of merchandise exports in 2004, adjusted for inflation. The data come from the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Commerce Dept. China continued to widen its lead as…


Comments | More in | Topics: Washington exports

January 27, 2015 at 11:04 AM

Washington’s unusual unemployment trend

One month does not a trend make. But when the state preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.3 percent in December, it constituted an undeniable turning point. But to what? First the data. Washington’s Great Recession unemployment rate topped out at 10.2 percent in the first three months of 2010. (This was a better showing…


Comments | More in | Topics: Washington unemployment

January 22, 2015 at 9:21 AM

Imagining Seattle in 2030

Much of the conversation lately has focused on how newcomers are changing Seattle (even if that has been the case for much of the city’s history). There are legitimate concerns about how fast population growth — combined with globalized hypercapitalism — will change the character and authenticity of the place. And impose big costs. I…


Comments | More in | Topics: Seattle growth, Seattle population

January 13, 2015 at 10:38 AM

Seattle No. 11 in best-performing cities report

Take heart, ye boom fatigued. Seattle fell out of the top 10 of the latest Best Performing Cities report from the Milken Institute. It ranks No. 11 for 2014 vs. No. 6 the previous year. San Francisco came in first, followed by Austin, Provo-Orem, Utah, Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle. Tech centers accounted for 13…


Comments | More in | Topics: City rankings, Northwest economy, Seattle economy

January 7, 2015 at 11:20 AM

Where jobs are growing in metro Seattle, in charts

November’s unemployment rate in King County was 4.4 percent — that’s what economists generally consider full employment. Pan out to the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro statistical area and the rate was 5.1 percent. It was still the 18th best in the nation but by comparison metro Denver and Austin were 3.9 percent and Minneapolis 3 percent. The feds…


Comments | More in | Topics: Seattle economy, Seattle jobs, Seattle unemployment

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