Research Briefing | Dec 31, 2022

Strong growth outlook forecast for Seattle to continue

Seattle faces a number of challenges including the threat of tech layoffs, but its aerospace sector is finally recovering. Seattle’s 2022 job growth rate of 5.0% exceeded the US growth of 4.1% last year. Job growth was led by restaurants and the tech sector. We forecast that Seattle will see job growth of 2.0% in 2023 and an average job growth rate of 0.9% in 2024 through 2027, above the forecasted US rate of 0.5%. Remarkably, Seattle only recently recovered its pandemic-induced lost jobs, showing a net job change from Q1 2020 to Q4 2022 of 0.5%, still below the US net growth of 1.1%.

What you will learn:

  • Seattle had GDP growth of 1.9% in 2022, lower than the US rate of 2.0% in 2022. GDP growth was led by the information sector. We forecast 2023 GDP growth of 1.8% and average annual GDP growth of 2.7% in 2024 through 2027, above the forecasted US rate of 1.8%.
  • Home to Microsoft, Amazon and others, Seattle’s tech sector jobs rose 8.5% in 2022, while information GDP grew 5.2%. The industry is likely to see declines in Q2 2023, but we forecast average annual job growth of 2.4%, on average, and GDP growth of 3.6% in 2023 through 2027.
  • Seattle saw net in-migration of 36,000 in 2022. This contributed to population growth of 0.8% in 2022. We forecast net in-migration of 154,900 from 2023 to 2027 and population growth of 1.2% in 2023 through 2027, above the forecasted US rate of 0.4%.
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