Leaving Atlanta for Seattle not long before a global pandemic has led to many changes, and the scope of my job responsibilities is certainly one of them. In my former job, I had a Marcom team of nine, two designers, social media manager, interactive manager, project manager and four agencies of record, including a global public relations firm. Now I am all of these things, doing work I haven’t done since I was fresh out of graduate school. I know, the world’s tiniest violin is playing: you’re lucky to have a job young man. Whatevs.
One of those “duties” has been dusting off my press release writing chops and pitching stories to media. This one was rather interesting because it was centered around the Seattle region recently surpassing the very MSA I had just left ie Atlanta. Ah, the irony.
SEATTLE METRO AREA BECOMES 10TH LARGEST REGIONAL ECONOMY
Seattle, Wash. – Greater Seattle Partners (GSP) today announced that the Seattle metro area economy has become the 10th largest regional economy in the country, surpassing the Atlanta metro area in its first jump in this ranking since 2012. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the region grew to nearly $383 billion in 2019, a 5.1% increase over 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
“While there is no doubt that our ‘superstar city’ status is fueled by the tech industry and being home to two of the largest cloud computing companies on the planet, our pioneering spirit has long created household global brands from coffee to fashion to flight,” said Brian McGowan, chief executive officer of Greater Seattle Partners. “The diversity of our economy, world-class education institutions, a strong tax environment, and an unparalleled quality of life are just a few of the reasons why we are a great place to do business.”
According to Brookings, “90% of the nation’s innovation sector employment growth in the last 15 years was generated in just five major coastal cities,” which include Seattle. In fact, Seattle’s economy grew about 2.5x faster than the U.S. economy (metro portion) as a whole last year, and it marked the ninth consecutive year the regional economy grew by more than 3%, which is considered a good year. Since 2010, Seattle has been among the fastest growing regional economies in the country, expanding at an annual rate of 4.9 percent. Real GDP has grown by over 50%, which translates to about $135 billion in added value.
This GDP growth reflects pre-COVID-19 conditions and points to a resilient economy capable of emerging quickly from the pandemic. A recent October 2020 Puget Sound Business Journal article stated, “venture capital deal values in the Seattle area are on pace to surpass 2019 levels, despite the pandemic,” which equated to approximately $3.6 billion in 2019. But job losses and business closures persist in the current economic conditions. To counter the negative impacts of COVID-19, GSP is leading economic recovery planning in conjunction with public and private partners across the region to support small businesses, accelerate the growth of competitive and emerging industry clusters, and ensure local workers have the skills and training to fill future jobs.
“While economies across the globe and communities here at home are reeling from the pandemic, I remain optimistic about the future of our economy and grateful to all who are working to support recovery, opportunity, and growth. Our success as an airline is tied to our geographical roots and the amazing employees, partners, and communities who’ve forged our path to become the 5th-largest U.S. carrier with reach around the world,” said Brad Tilden, chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group. “As we look to 2021 and beyond, we will continue to connect the world to greater Seattle with new routes, pioneering technologies and customer innovations that keep guests safe and build stronger relationships between regional businesses and global partners.”
The complete top 10 list of regional economies are as follows:
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
- -Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
ABOUT GREATER SEATTLE PARTNERS
Greater Seattle Partners (GSP) is a public-private partnership that leads regional economic development through global business attraction, site selection and investment and trade opportunities in the greater Seattle region. GSP collaborates with community and economic development partners to ensure that every person in the Puget Sound region has the opportunity to prosper. We strive to attract and retain quality family/living wage jobs across all communities of the region. Throughout the world we tell the story of our talent, pioneering spirit, unique communities, and quality of life. For more information visit Greater-Seattle.com.