By Island Republican
Bill Center, President of Washington Council on International Trade, a nonprofit, non-partisan association spoke to a luncheon meeting of Bellevue Rotary. The Washington Council of International Trade’s purpose is to inform, advocate and educate the public, elected leadership, educators and the media about the role and importance of trade. Bill Center’s topic was the impact of offshoring to the Washington State economy. Washington Council of International Trade is most widely known as the entity that invited the World Trade Organization to Seattle in 1999.
Washington State is the most trade depended state in the United States. In 2005, one-third of jobs in the state are related to trade. The per capita trade amount in Washington State is twice the next two highest states, California and Texas. In King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, 27,800 jobs are destroyed each year. The four county region loses between 390 and 560 jobs to offshoring each year. 31,120 new jobs are created in the four county region each year. The average annual net increase in jobs is 3,320. The net job increase easily covers the jobs lost to offshoring.
As of August 31, the United States had 143 million jobs with an unemployment rate of 4.9%. Each year 30 million jobs are destroyed in the U.S. Approximately 600,000 jobs are offshored according to AFL-CIO, 2% of the total jobs destroyed. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 420,000 jobs are offshored each year, 1.4% of the total jobs destroyed. The U.S. creates 31.5 million each year for a net gain of 1.5 million jobs. The average new employees joining the workforce each year is 1.5 million. Currently, the job market is in equilibrium. The average salary of jobs created is higher than the jobs destroyed. Over 80% of the jobs created each year go to individuals who are employed. The remaining 20% of jobs created are filled by unemployed individuals.
The Washington Council on International Trade is working with Prosperity Partnership (launched by the Puget Sound Regional Council) to create 100,000 new jobs in the four county region by the end of 2010. These new jobs are in addition to the expected normal job growth. To meet this goal, the four county region must create 328,000 jobs between 2004 and 2010. As of September 1, 2005, the Prosperity Partnership is ahead of its job growth goals. The Partnership expects the majority of new jobs will come from five areas (“clusters” as defined by the Prosperity Partnership), aerospace, clean technology, information technology, life sciences and international trade. These “clusters” are based on strengths in the four county region and areas where we are competitive in the global market place. The clusters are expected to create high paying jobs.
Trade is very important to the economic health of Washington State, especially in the four county region. The public, unions, politicians and media need to understand that trade decisions in Washington, D.C. greatly impact Washington State’s economy. The Puget Sound Region should be the strongest supporter of international trade. It is interesting to note on the last major trade initiative in Congress, CAFTA, Washington State’s congressional delegation voted against CAFTA. Please see my posts, CAFTA Passes without Support from Washington State Delegation and CAFTA: The Complex Benefits of Free Trade.
Cross posted at Island Republican.