Seattle: Future Job Incubator

Last Updated Apr 23, 2010 3:54 PM EDT

Seattle just keeps building on past successes. For decades, it
spawned companies that grew into job-creation machines -- and stuck
around the area with those jobs: href="http://resources.bnet.com/topic/boeing+co..html">Boeing, href="http://resources.bnet.com/topic/microsoft+corp..html">Microsoft, href="http://resources.bnet.com/topic/amazon.com+inc..html">Amazon.com, href="http://resources.bnet.com/topic/starbucks+corp..html">Starbucks, href="http://resources.bnet.com/topic/costco+wholesale+corp..html">Costco, href="http://resources.bnet.com/topic/expeditors+international+of+washington+inc..html">Expediters
International, and even retail stalwart href="http://resources.bnet.com/topic/nordstrom+inc..html">Nordstrom, which
opened its first store there at the beginning of the 20th century.
Today Seattle remains an important incubator of new ventures in a wide range of
industries, from IT and agriculture to manufacturing and biotech. Last year, the state
drew in about $574 million in
venture capital, much of it in Seattle, and 4.8 percent of the total deals done in the U.S., according to href="https://www.pwcmoneytree.com/MTPublic/ns/moneytree/filesource/exhibits/National%20MoneyTree%20full-year%20Q4%202009.pdf">MoneyTree's
2009 report [pdf]. And it's one of the few
cities that continue to hire in its information sector. Jobs at media,
telecommunications, and software companies grew 3.8 percent from 2007 to 2008.

Although some traditional employment sectors —
mining, fishing, aerospace, construction — continue to be a drag,
there’s a silver lining there, too. After years of job declines in
agriculture, fishing and forestry, the BLS predicts overall job growth in those
industries to flatten over the next decade; aerospace jobs will gain 20
percent; and construction work will grow by 19 percent (money from the stimulus
package doesn’t hurt).

Seattle headquarters

Amazon.com’s first office building
in Seattle, left. The company’s new headquarters, right, which will total 1.9 million square feet.

Photos courtesy of Amazon.com and The Fearey Group.

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