THE news that Google is doubling the size of its Kirkland campus to make room for 1,000 more employees is another sign that the Seattle area’s economy is kicking into gear.
The unemployment rate in King County is at about 6.3 percent, seasonally adjusted. That’s not ideal, but it is much better than the rest of the state.
In 22 of the state’s 39 counties, unemployment is still 10 percent or more. In Spokane County, unemployment is at 9.8 percent. In Pierce County it is at 9.4 percent.
Fast growth in the Seattle area, including Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and Issaquah, and slower growth elsewhere was the pattern of much of the 1990s. Something like that seems to be happening again: a tech boom.
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A study last year by the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County forecast shortages through 2019 in software engineers, systems analysts, database administrators and even in multimedia artists and animators.
Imagine, a shortage of artists.
That is the new economy. And manufacturing is also part of it.
The screw-up of the battery in the Boeing 787 notwithstanding, 10,000 manufacturing jobs were added last year statewide. A big piece of that was Boeing, whose customers still want airplanes.
Other manufacturing was also up.
Manufacturing is not dead and not dying. Not here.
Take notice. Things are stirring.