Study: Washington’s aerospace employment is holding steady

Washington’s aerospace industry continues to bring in more money to the state while its employment holds steady, according to a state-commissioned study released Thursday.

In 2015, the industry posted $69.9 billion in revenues, a slight increase over the prior year and more than twice what it recorded a decade earlier when adjusted for inflation, according to the study.

A Seattle-based economic consulting firm, Community Attributes, Inc., did the study for Washington Aerospace Partners, a state-backed industry advocacy group.

The number of people working directly in aerospace has held relatively stable in recent years. In 2015, the industry employed 93,800, an increase of 400 over the prior year, but less than the 2012 and 2013. However, the number of aerospace-related jobs has risen from 38,300 in 2012 to 42,300 last year.

The industry’s economic impact in 2015 was $94.7 billion in revenues and 252,800 jobs. That is a 9.4 percent increase in revenues and nearly 20 percent increase in jobs from the prior year.

The steady job numbers come even as the state’s biggest aerospace company, Boeing, trims its Washington workforce. In August, the company had 75,269 workers here, nearly 3,000 fewer than at the beginning of the year and the lowest its been since March 2011. Still, nearly half of the company’s workforce is in Washington.

It paid an estimated $9.4 billion in wages in Washington in 2015. The industry paid an estimated $13 billion in wages for people working directly in aerospace, according to the study.

Aerospace employees earned an average income of $107,000, compared to an average wage of $54,000 for all workers in the state.

In Snohomish County, 43,860 people worked directly in aerospace, who earned $4.5 billion in wages. The industry supported another 48,590 jobs in the county. In King County, the industry directly employed 44,640 people who earned about $5 billion.

Aerospace companies earned $32 billion in Snohomish County and $32.6 billion in King County in 2015.

According to the consulting firm Deloitte, about 10 percent of the country’s aerospace workforce is based in Washington.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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