Economic Vitality
Employment in natural resource industries
The employment in natural resource industries indicator tells us how many jobs are supported by natural resource industries in Puget Sound, including timber, fishing, agriculture, recreation and tourism. This information can be used to track changes in the sustainability of employment opportunities in natural resource industries.
Employment in natural resource industries
By: Natural Resources Industries
Annual employment (number of jobs; left axis) and total wages (dollars in thousands $2017; right axis) for natural resources-based industries across the Puget Sound region. Natural resource industries include: aquaculture, agriculture, timber, fishing, and recreation and tourism. Click "View Details" near the bottom right of this page to see more detailed information about this indicator, including industry-specific data.

Key Vital Sign Indicator Results

  • Since 2005, there has been a positive trend in the number of jobs and the wage levels supported by natural resource industries in Puget Sound. However, the progress is categorized as mixed results since patterns differ across the industries.
  • Combined employment in natural resource-driven industries in Puget Sound has trended upward from an estimated 76,001 jobs in 2005 to an estimated 98,820 jobs in 2017, largely impacted by growth in Puget Sound shoreline recreation and tourism. Total wages across these industries have also increased from approximately $1.6 billion in 2005 ($2017) to $2.4 billion ($2017) in 2017.
  • Aquaculture, agriculture and recreation and tourism sectors all report general employment and total wages growth from 2005 to 2017.
  • On average, 4,392 employed or self-employed people reported fishing employment between 2010 and 2017. Fishing employment trend is mixed between 2005 and 2012, followed by a decline of roughly 220 people between 2012 and 2015 then another decline of about 440 people between 2015 and 2017. Total wages for the fishing industry show a similar trend.
  • The timber extraction industry (forestry/logging and support activities) lost employment from 2005 to 2011, but held steady around 1,300 jobs from 2011 to 2017. While timber employment stayed about the same from 2011 to 2017, total wages for the timber industry have alternated between decreasing and increasing during that timeframe.

Contributing Partners

Recovery Target

No targets are currently set for this indicator.

Vital Sign Indicator Reporter
Methods and More Results
Last Updated
7/7/2020