Sector Studies

In mid-2016, WorkForce Central on behalf of the Workforce Development Council commissioned studies of the top six employment sectors within Pierce County. The studies examined workforce supply and demand through 2023 alongside targeted stakeholder feedback to build a comprehensive picture of the Pierce County workforce. 


Health care is the largest industry sector in Pierce County, comprising 15% of the county’s total employment. The sector is projected to grow and faces strong demand for skilled workers to fill open positions, especially Registered Nurses.

WorkForce Central supports a Career Coaching program through MultiCare to encourage progressive training along the nursing career path. Career Coaching offers entry-level nurses the resources they need to advance, building a steady pipeline of skilled Registered Nurses by investing in the existing employee base while opening entry-level opportunities to new job seekers.

Nurse Sitting By Young Girl's Bed In Hospital


Construction is the second largest but fastest-growing sector in Pierce County, employing more than 24,460 workers countywide. While construction-related career paths offer opportunities for growth at virtually every stage of training or education, employers face difficulties connecting with entry-level workers early in their career.

To address this disconnect, WorkForce Central hosts an annual Career Day with the Pierce County Construction Partnership to introduce high school students to career opportunities in construction and the trades.

Portrait of worker in a construction site


The Military and Defense sector represents the second-largest public employer in Washington state and employs nearly 13,000 workers beyond the 33,000 active duty personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. In 2015 alone, Pierce County received nearly $500 million in Department of Defense contracts.

WorkForce Central offers targeted programs to help transitioning military servicemembers find civilian career paths. Camo2Commerce, operated jointly with Pacific Mountain Workforce Development, offers career coaching and job placement services that set up servicemembers for success.

young officer holds a radio


Approximately 14 percent of Washington state’s total Transportation, Warehousing and Logistics workers are employed in Pierce County. The variety of jobs in this sector are more diverse than in any other key Pierce County sector, ranging from warehouse laborers to locomotive engineers, and encompassing Port of Tacoma activities.

Female docker and harbor inspector


Pierce County’s ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and Cybersecurity sector benefits from the robust information technology sector growing in King County and from the proximity to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. As demand for highly-specialized cybersecurity workers increases, Pierce County is in a unique position to capture military talent and grow the local economy. Key to supporting this sector’s growth is its ability to tap into the talented pool of workers who live here but commute to King County for work.

oung professional working


Pierce County is part of a four-county region with a thriving manufacturing sector ranging from aerospace and shipbuilding to composites and high-tech food manufacturing. The sector relies on well-established training programs, such as AJAC, to build a pipeline of skilled workers who can advance along the manufacturing career path.

Business jet airplane.
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