Stat of the Week

Ranking the good life

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

We all know that a higher salary doesn’t make people happy. However, for many, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is a place where you can enjoy a good salary and a happy life at the same time. Last year, a Gallup survey named Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue in their list of Top Ten Happiest large cities in the U.S.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI), Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue also saw wages and salaries increase $8,230 between 2006 to 2011, putting the area in at #4 in the list top 20 large metros and 16th for overall metros in the United States.

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is home to a diverse array of industries including aerospace, transportation and logistics, information technology, maritime, specialty beverages and food products, biotechnology, and telecommunications, just to name a few.

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue #6 for merchandise exports

Friday, September 14th, 2012

According to the International Trade Administration, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue ranked #6 in the nation for merchandise exports. Exports from the area totaled $41.4 billion in 2011. That’s a 16.1% increase from 2010!

Exports of transportation equipment, including aircraft accounted were up from over $25,792 billion in 2009 (the last full year for data) to over $26,565 billion in 2011.

Exports of computer and electronic products were also up from $2.8 billion in 2008 to $3.3 billion. Exports of food items and fishing, hunting and trapping machinery were also up from 2009/2010 numbers.

Top customers last year were China, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and the UAE.



Seattle attractions score with tourists

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

If you’ve visited Seattle this summer, chances are good that you caught one of our 44+ days of consecutive sunshine, or a glimpse of the 50th year anniversary celebration of the World’s Fair, a convention, or a cruise.

This June was one of Seattle’s best on record in terms of hotel occupancy, comparable to pre-recession figures. Contributing factors include a strong roster of conventions – 27 compared to 21 for last year – and big exhibits and events such as the Next 50, and the opening of the Chihuly Garden and Glass experience. Seattle’s cruise industry continues to be a draw, and is the busiest on the West Coast in passenger volume and ship calls.

The numbers of international tourists visiting Seattle is also up. Last year, Seattle was ranked the sixth most popular U.S. destination for Korean tourists, assisted by South Korea achieving US visa waiver status in 2008. In fact, Seattle’s visitors bureau recently launched a campaign in South Korea, promoting Seattle as a tourism hot spot.

All this goes to show that Seattle is home to some great resources, which includes sun on the occasion. It is also testament to the work of the Washington Tourism Alliance and other efforts to boost the city and the state’s visibility.

One other item of note: the San Juan Islands ranked #2 in the world of best places to go to in 2011 by the New York Times!

Seattle ranks high for start-ups

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

If you have a new idea for a product or service, take a look at Greater Seattle.

Our lower cost of living is one advantage to consider at if you’re making a move. Seattle came in as the second runner up on VentureBeat’s list of Top 5 American cities for startups. The organization considered criteria such as city tax breaks for small businesses, lower prices, government programs, talent pools, and culture in making their decisions.

Seattle also placed 10th in the top 10 cities for technology startups for 2011, according to a recent ranking conducted by The National Venture Capital Association. The association’s ranking system is based on dollars invested in young tech companies.

San Francisco claimed the top spot, registering 3,442 startups and $11.8 billion invested for 430 companies. The other spots went to Boston, New York City, L.A., Washington DC, San Diego, Chicago, Austin, and Boulder/Denver, respectively.


Your dollar goes farther in Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue recently ranked among the top 10 most affordable metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the nation. Although some might suppose that high housing costs and its urban environment have weakened the relative value of the region’s dollar, Forbes Magazine integrated cities’ paychecks in its calculations for a more accurate accounting. The list, titled “Cities where a paycheck stretches the furthest,” was led by Houston, San Jose and Detroit.

Recently topping Forbes’ list of STEM job growth, the Seattle MSA is not surprisingly ranked 9th in affordable cities due to the math and science related boom. Forbes’ also cited the local manufacturing resurgence as a positive influence in region’s economy. Seattle’s local average annual wage was $60,123 in 2011 and ranked 7th in the nation for incomes unadjusted for local prices.

Sage Bionetoworks #2 best place to work in academia

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Greater Seattle’s biotech community is known for its R&D prowess. Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks is a part of this network, using the power of collective discoveries and information sharing to carry out disease modeling and drug treatment for these diseases. In addition to this somewhat unusual model, the firm came in at #2 of  best places in the world to work in academia for 2012, published by The Scientist magazine.

The Scientist considered 37 criteria in 8 different areas ranging from job satisfaction, peers, and infrastructure and environment to research resources, pay, management and policies, teaching and mentoring, and tenure and promotion.

Sage ranked high for job satisfaction and pay, amongst other criteria. The organization is a small one, and is housed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.




Washington’s financial security: safest banks

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Washington State-based Farmington State Bank, Liberty Bay Bank, and Raymond Federal Bank were listed among the 359 safest banks in the nation out of 7,300 analyzed banks. Scores for banks were based on the Texas Ratio, a calculation weighing equities against delinquent assets to diagnose the likelihood of bank failure.

The banks’ security is important for Washington State and the nation’s financial health amid the shrinking FDIC fund. The three Washington banks all received perfect scores.

Top hospitals in the U.S.: Washington State’s high rankings

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

U.S. News and World Reports recently awarded several Washington hospitals with top ratings in a national report. Known as an epicenter for medical research and biotech development, Washington is a breeding ground for new treatments and innovative healthcare. Among the 5,000 U.S. hospitals that were analyzed, the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Harborview and Virginia Mason Medical Center were all regionally or nationally ranked.

While there were only 148 medical facilities that ranked nationally in at least one of the 16 specialties, the UW Medical Center ranked nationally in ten specialties! Likewise, Seattle Children’s Hospital ranked nationally in 10 of the pediatric specialties, among only 80 hospitals that could claim at least one nationally-ranked specialty. High performance awards for six specialties were granted to Harborview and ten specialties at Virginia Mason.

The rankings in the 16 specialties were determined by analyzing data from the federal government and according to specialists’ knowledge of reputable hospitals. Reputation of the hospital, volume of procedures and patients, and patient safety, care, and survival were main factors in the ratings.

Ranked #1 in Primary Care for eighteen years in a row, also by U.S. News and World Reports, and #1 in the nation among public schools of medicine by the NIH, the UW Medical Center can be trusted to attract even more talent and sought-after medical providers and innovators in years to come.

Seattle-Bellevue-Everrett Leading the U.S. Manufacturing Resurgence

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Ranked first in the nation in New Geography’s Top Manufacturing Growth Regions, the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett region is paving the return to domestic manufacturing that began 33 months ago. While wages rise in China and Europe faces economic hardship, there is a growing trend to manufacture in the US that is bolstering job growth by 7.9% in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett region alone.

Half of that growth is driven by manufacturing sectors unrelated to Boeing’s aerospace industry, including food, lumber, chemical, computer, and electronic & fabricated metal products that are exported around the world.

The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area was selected based on a current and historical growth analysis of the manufacturing and job markets in 65 metropolitan areas. Coming in second for manufacturing growth and cited with having the strongest tech and manufacturing connection, the Washington region surpassed Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas’ performances.

Evergreen State is also most bicycle friendly state

Friday, July 6th, 2012

With warmer weather approaching, commuters and joy-riding bicyclists in Washington will be safer and most likely happier than their non-Washingtonian counterparts according to the League of American Bicyclists. The Bicycle Friendly State Program crowned Washington as the #1 most bicycle-friendly state in the nation. Selection was based on analyses of five categories relating to bicycles: Legislation & Enforcement, Policies & Programs, Infrastructure & Funding, Education & Encouragement, and Evaluation & Planning. Washington scored all 4’s and 5’s on the five-point scale.

Hitting nine of ten “Signs of Success” for a bike-friendly state, Washington has police education programs, laws and campaigns for road safety, and city planning that incorporates bikers’ needs.

The Evergreen State’s success in attracting federal funds for biking initiatives is due in part to its range of spending across urban, rural and suburban areas. Washington is “the model for all other states” in utilizing these funds. Need an excuse to try a two-wheeler? Check out Bicycle Sunday! Keep it up Washington!