Employment & Wages in Pierce County

Communities are stronger when people work close to where they live, and when we make use of everyone's talents. Increasing the number of good jobs locally is our main focus in economic development.  
The Economic Development Department works with key community partners to help grow jobs in Pierce County.  Our goal is for residents to have easy access to good paying jobs close to home and to reduce the daily out-flow of workers to jobs outside the County. These efforts include retaining local companies and helping them grow, and attracting new companies to locate here.
Pierce County is in the top 10% of all US counties in rate of job growth, with an increase of more than 41,000 jobs since 2013.  In the past 10 years, the number of companies employing workers grew by nearly 2,500.  That growth was coupled with a 17% increase in total wages paid or nearly $370 million more per quarter going to workers in Pierce County.  
Many people work for themselves and are not "covered" by Unemployment Insurance, so they don't show-up in most employment data.  But they are vital to the economy because they represent the strength of a community's entrepreneurial spirit.  The number of companies with no covered employees is almost double the number of firms with employees, and combined they generate over $2 billion in receipts per year, averaging over $45,000 per establishment.

Spikes in Establishments data are likely due to data anomalies and not actual change.  We have requested explanatory information from the Washington Department of Employment Security.
Spikes in Average Pay data are generally due to activities like mergers and acquisitions or initial public offerings. 

Business Pulse Survey

Pierce County businesses were surveyed in March 2019 for their perspectives on doing business here, and where things are headed for their company, industry, and region.  
Who participated in the Pierce County Business Pulse Survey?
  • 75% of responders were Business Owners/CEOs or key management decision makers
  • A diverse sample of industry classifications and business locations participated in the survey
  • 38% of the companies responding have 10 or fewer or employees, 31% have 11-50 employees, 15% have 51-249 employees, and 16% have over 250 employees

Pierce County Business Optimism is High

Top Five Business Challenges

  1. Attracting and retaining employees
  2. Revenue generation/sales
  3. Transportation infrastructure and congestion
  4. Workforce training
  5. Technology changes in my industry