Michael Luis is a public policy consultant who has been wrestling with housing, growth and economic development issues around Washington State for over 30 years. He is author of several books on local history and served as mayor of Medina.
Washington State is home to a number of large military installations that employ tens of thousands of uniformed and civilian personnel, making it one of the largest concentrations of military activity in the country.
Software and internet industries pay 11 percent of all wages paid in the state. This is larger than all private sector industries and second only to the total of government wages. Software may not be eating the jobs numbers, but it is rapidly eating the income numbers.
Every mayor and community development director in the country is trying to figure out how migration and settlement patterns, both national and local, will shake out in the post pandemic world, and there are few solid hints so far.
Transcontinental railroads arrived in Seattle in 1893, and within 20 years Seattle had become the largest port on the West Coast and the third largest port in the U.S. after New York and Philadelphia. For decades, Puget Sound dominated West Coast shipping and the ports, and the ancillary activities of shipbuilding, dominated Seattle’s economy. But the growing markets of California, and the prospect of shipping directly to millions of customers, began to chip away at the Puget Sound ports’ competitive advantage in shipping time to Asia.
The Census Bureau expects annual births to increase only slightly in the U.S. over the next 20 years, and IHME expects annual births in the U.S. to fall during that time. In contrast, OFM expects births in Washington state to increase by over 20 percent between now and 2040.