TACOMA AND PIERCE COUNTY:
A MODERN, BROAD BASED ECONOMY
Tacoma, WA is the principal city in Pierce County. Founded in 1874, Tacoma was an important destination for the transcontinental railroad system. The railway connection to the deepwater Port of Tacoma on Puget Sound established the city as a major link in national and international commerce. Today, Pierce County’s strategic location and excellent highway, rail and transportation connections help make it a major center for international trade.
The region boasts excellent job training supported by an educational infrastructure of three universities, three community colleges and several voc-tech institutions. Its prime mid Puget Sound location is on the Interstate 5 corridor only 15 miles from Sea-Tac International Airport.
City of Tacoma 196,532 ( 2009 estimate )
Pierce County 796,836 ( 2009 estimate )
Washington State 6,664,195 ( 2009 estimate )
THE PORT OF TACOMA
The Port of Tacoma is a leading North American Seaport, handling more than $25 billion in trade and 1.5 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit) in 2009. The Port is among the top 10 container ports in North America, as well as a major center for bulk,break bulk and project and heavy-lift cargoes, and automobiles and medium-duty trucks. The Port of Tacoma’s top international trading partners are China/Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Canada, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, plus approximately 3.5 billion in trade with Alaska. The Port of Tacoma is considered an “economic engine” for the region.
- More than 43,000 jobs in Pierce County are related to the Port of Tacoma’s activities.
- More than 113,000 jobs in Washington State are related to the Port’s activities.
- Port-related jobs generate $637 million in annual wages in Pierce County.
- Port activities generate more than $90 million annually in state and local taxes in Washington State.
More information about the Port of Tacoma can be found at http://www.portoftacoma.com/
PIERCE COUNTY JOB STATISTICS FOR 2010:
Pierce County plays a highly significant role in the state and regional economy with over 11 percent of the state’s population, labor force, and total employment With the growth of both the manufacturing and service sectors over the past decade, it is well-poised to assume a greater role in the national and global economy in the next 25 years. With a current population of over 813,000, Pierce County continues to grow and provides a sizeable labor pool for local business.
LARGEST EMPLOYERS: Pierce County boasts a diverse mixture of dynamic business. Pierce County’s top ten private sector employers are Multicare Health System, Franciscan Health System, Emerald Queen Casino, The Boeing Company, Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer Stores, Costco, Safeway Stores Inc, State Farm Insurance Companies, LongShore Labor Union. In addition to a robust private sector mix of business, Pierce County also has a strong public sector employer presence. Some of the notable public sector employers include Joint Base Levis McChord, the Washington State National Guard, and the Port of Tacoma.
EXPORTERS: Pierce County has numerous small and medium size exporters. Major exporters include Intel (computer electronics), Boeing (aerospace), Milgard Manufacturing (glass/window products), Supervalu (groceries), Simpson Tacoma Kraft (paper & wood products) and REI (outdoor clothing & gear).
IMPORTERS: Major local importers include retailers such as Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Bon Marche and Safeway and manufacturers such as Intel and Boeing.
SUPPORT INDUSTRY: The support and service industry is crucial for international trade. Major players include transportation providers such as Port of Tacoma, Gordon Trucking, Maersk Sealand, infrastructure providers such as Tacoma Public Utilities/Tacoma Rail, local universities/colleges, and banks such as KeyBank, Columbia Bank and Bank of America.
Facts about Washington State
Location: As one of the Pacific states of the United States, bounded on the north by the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the east by Idaho, on the south by Oregon, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. A series of channels in the northwest-Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, and the Strait of Georgia separate the state from Canada’s Vancouver Island.
Local Information and Resources
With one in every three jobs directly supported by international commerce, trade is an essential part of the economy of Washington State. As the fifth largest exporting State, behind California, Texas, New York and Michigan, Washington is perhaps the most trade-oriented State in the U.S. Accounting for only 2% of the nation’s population, Washington ships out 7% of US exports and receives 6% of US imports, many of which are passed on, via rail or trucking routes, throughout the country. Together, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are the nations second largest container load centers, second only to Los Angeles/Long Beach. Port of Tacoma is ranked as the fourth largest port in the country combined with Seattle and ranks fifth on its own.
Trade is a primary driver of Washington’s business success — home to industry leaders in aerospace, forest products, software, financial and legal services, and agriculture. Washington companies attain a significant portion of their revenues through foreign exports.
As one of the westernmost States in the continental United States, Washington acts as a vital gateway for trade between East and West. Because Washington is located halfway between Asia and Europe, we also do a great deal of commerce with the European Union. Other significant trading partners include Russia, Mexico and several South American countries.
For further information about Tacoma, Pierce County and Washington State, please click here.