We’re different. So is our data.

Pierce County gets lumped into the greater Seattle metropolitan area for statistics on everything from sports to median income. But we differ considerably from our neighbors to the north. That’s why it is important to drill down into statistics like the job index and economic numbers to draw out the most relevant information.

POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHICS

With the right information, decisions about policy and programs can be more targeted and ultimately more effective. That’s why WorkForce Central is fighting this shortage of Pierce-specific data by producing employment reports like the one found here.

In 2016, we also dug deep into the top local industries to study workforce supply and demand. Armed with the most relevant data ever, we’re helping the community make better, more informed choices about growth and investment. Read more about the 2016 data here.

As the second most populous county in Washington, Pierce County is expected to grow by 1.1% between 2015 and 2040 to over 1 million people.

Pierce County outlined in red
How Pierce County's population is distributed by age

Pierce County is home to a younger population than Washington’s average or the US as a whole. (1)

Out of Pierce County’s nearly 340,000 residents aged 25 and above, more than a quarter hold four-year degrees and 38% have invested in some education and training beyond high school, less than a four-year degree. (2)

Education Level by Percentage of Population over 25 years old
Education Level Bar Chart, Changes from 2012 through 2016

The proportion of Pierce County residents with at least a Bachelor’s degree is growing. (2)

ECONOMIC AND EMPLOYMENT DATA

In 2016, nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Pierce County expanded 5.9% to  top $34.7 billion. (1)

Pierce County GDP Tracked 2004-2016
Unemployment Rate 2008 through 2016

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Pierce County was 5.1% as of October 2017, lower than the 6.3% rate from the year prior. (1)

While unemployment for individuals without a high school diploma has finally dropped post-recession, this group experiences the least employment stability in volatile markets. (2)

Unemployment Varies Between Education Levels

WAGE AND LABOR FORCE DATA

Line Graph Tracking Pierce County's Average Wage, 2007-2016

The average Pierce County worker earned annual wages of $48,604 as of Fall 2016. Pierce County has long lagged the state in wage growth. (1)

Pierce County loses more than 100,000 of its working-age residents to jobs in King County every day (3).

Commuting Patterns to and from Pierce County, mapped
Pierce County Residents Spend more time commuting

Pierce County residents spend an average of 61 minutes commuting to and from work every day. (1)

Veterans and active members of the Armed Forces comprise more of the labor force in Pierce County than elsewhere in the state or nation. (1)

Veterans make up more than 11% of our labor force

References:

(1)  Pierce County Workforce Data, Trends & Realities, January 2018.

(2) Skilled Jobs in Pierce County: Gaps & Opportunities, February 2018.

(3) Skills Gap Analysis, September 2016. (see also workforce-central.org/data2016)