Home What's Brewing? Tale of Two Seattles

Tale of Two Seattles

It’s been the worst of times, and the best of times (or the best of what could have been worse) as the case for Seattle’s weathering the recession may turn out to be.

First, the best of times. Seattle has been crowned the top “Magnet City” for hot young talent, according to the Wall Street Journal, tied with the “other” Washington (D.C.) and its federal stimuli. Of course, predicting cities that will emerge as post-recession meccas for the young is nigh impossible to forecast empirically. So the WSJ asked six experts which 10 cities will emerge as the hottest, hippest destinations for highly mobile, educated workers in their 20s when the U.S. economy gets moving again.

Of Seattle: “Anchor to a region of corporate innovators, from Microsoft to Amazon.com to Starbucks, Seattle is “a high-tech and lifestyle mecca,” said Dr. Richard Florida, author of “Who’s Your City?” and a professor of business at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Ross DeVol, director of regional economics for the nonprofit Milken Institute. says our city’s high-tech sector, with 226,300 workers, is just slightly smaller than Silicon Valley’s. Joblessness, at 7.7%, remains relatively low. “City officials see rapid growth in biotech; Seattle also has tens of thousands of jobs in music and interactive media. And it enjoys a reputation as home to a lot of brainy people.”

Upticking the latest unemployment statistics,current joblessness in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area rose to 8.8 percent in August from 4.7 percent in the same month last year. It also increased 1 percentage point from July, this according to last week’s federal report.

On the “it could be worse” side, Washington state currently ranks 14th in the nation in “underemployment.” Oregon and California, each with an underemployment rate of 8.4 percent are tied for first.

The Seattle Times Jon Talton has reported that among all 11 recessions that have occurred since 1848, previous Washington downturns have been worse to the present one. That’s remarkable considering the current cycle. The “average” recession lasts 10.5 months. The current one is already clocked at more than 17 months. You can check out the interactive charting here. [24X7]

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