Seattle is the largest city in the State of Washington, in the Northwestern United States.
A former hub for the timber industry, it went a long way from timber to high technology and internet via aircraft manufacturing.
The city’s economy today is a hub for both old, middle, and new age economy with manufacturing, food & beverage, internet, software and technology firms dominating its economy. The city is home to Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Washington Mutual, and of course, Starbucks.
In the western United States, it is recognized as one of the largest seaports and port cities despite its location on an inlet.
The current population of Seattle is around 755,745 people. It is the largest city in the state of Washington and also the largest city in the northern part of the United States.
In July 2013, the city was known as the fastest-growing major American city. It remained in the top 5 of that list in May 2015 having an annual growth rate of 2.1%. It encountered the same phenomenon in 2016 with an annual growth rate of 3.1%.
What’s so special about Seattle’s economy?
Seattle in its early days relied on logging as part of its economy.
In the later part of the 19th century, the Klondike Gold Rush took place and helped spur growth in Seattle.
It became a leading commercial and shipbuilding center. It then led to the development of the seaport which then served as an entry point to Alaska.
After World War II, Seattle’s economy grew again. This time with the establishment of the aircraft division of the Boeing company, making it a hub of aircraft manufacturing.
Subsequent completion of the Seattle sky train led to the completion of the local landmark, the Space Needle.
This helped spur growth in Seattle’s population and public transport.
It was from the 1980s that Seattle emerged as a hub of technology.
Bill Gates is a resident of Seattle by birth and created Microsoft Corporation in the city in the 80s.
Jeff Bezos established Amazon.com during the dot com boom.
Major airline Alaska Airlines is based at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
In other words, it is headquartered in nearby SeaTac (located between Seattle and Tacoma).
Thanks to the emergence of the Technology sector (software, biotechnology, internet, and the like), Seattle’s economy went on an upward curve and still does.
Consequently, both the metropolitan area of Seattle and the State of Washington has some of the highest minimum wages in the nation, with $15/hour for small & medium-sized businesses and $16/hour for large companies.
The 206 area code is a telephone code of Seattle and its metropolitan area which is among the most commonly dialed telephone codes in the nation.
Seattle’s incumbent business scenario is dominated mostly by large firms, with five of them coming from the 2017 Fortune 500 list which are as under:
- Internet retail giant Amazon.
- Multinational coffee chain Starbucks.
- Retail giant Nordstrom.
- Freight consigner Expeditors International of Washington.
- Forestry products giant Weyerhauser.
Other large Fortune 500 companies based in Seattle are as under:
- Boeing’s Aircraft Manufacturing Division (Renton).
- Providence Health & Services (Renton).
- Truck manufacturing giant Paccar (Bellevue).
- T-Mobile US (Bellevue).
- Warehouse retailing chain Costco (Issaquah).
- Renown Software Giant Microsoft Corporation (Redmond).
- Nintendo of America (Redmond).
- Expedia (Bellevue).