Nearly half of Pierce County’s workers commute out of the county for work. Pierce County has more workers than jobs, but employers aren’t enjoying the benefits of the surplus. Employers compete for qualified workers with Seattle and King County, where wages tend to be higher and “brand name” companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing attract candidates due to perceptions around prestige and opportunities for advancement.
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- “Direct care” is the fastest-growing segment in the industry
- Projected growth rate of 2 percent annually through 2023
- Direct care occupations include certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, and home health and personal care aides
- Demand for registered nurses exceeds supply, creating an ongoing shortage over the next several years.
- Average annual wage of $60,899—nearly $3,000 more than the regional average wage
- Construction provides a viable career option regardless of education level
MILITARY & DEFENSE
- JBLM provides a strong supply of talented workers and programs that match transitioning service members with jobs
- Highly-skilled retired military personnel may not have adequate access to commercial credentials or certifications to meet job requirements
TRANSPORTATION, WAREHOUSING & LOGISTICS
Stakeholders report difficulty hiring and retaining qualified workers due to deficiencies in basic math and essential/soft skills
- Employers in this industry compete for workers with companies in Seattle or King County that pay higher wages
- They also compete with other industries, such as construction and advanced manufacturing, for similarly qualified candidates
ICT & CYBERSECURITY
- Wages in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and cybersecurity are higher than the regional average
- Local employers compete with King County employers who offer higher pay and “brand name” opportunities for advancement
- Additionally, employers face increasing competition from virtually all other industries as information technology grows more integral to the modern economy
- Basic math and essential/soft skills appear to be the biggest obstacle to finding qualified candidates
- Many employers willingly train employees internally but risk losing their investment when the trained worker leaves for other jobs either within the industry or in competing industries like construction