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 aquaculture, timber, fishing, agriculture, and recreation and tourism. This information can be used to track changes in the sustainability of employment opportunities in natural resource industries.

Annual employment (number of jobs; left axis) and total wages (dollars in thousands $2019; right axis) by industry for natural resources-based industries across the Puget Sound region.

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 mixed since patterns differ across the industries.
  • Combined employment in natural resource-driven industries in Puget Sound has trended upward from an estimated 75,596 jobs in 2005 to an estimated 102,371 jobs in 2019, largely impacted by growth in Puget Sound shoreline recreation and tourism. Total wages across these industries have also increased from approximately $1.7 billion in 2005 to $2.7 billion in 2019 ($2019).
  • Aquaculture, agriculture, and recreation and tourism sectors all report general employment and total wages growth from 2005 to 2019. Employment in agriculture and aquaculture each have increased by an average of 1 to 4% per year since 2005, while recreation and tourism saw average annual employment growth of 3% per year between 2005 and 2019.
  • On average, 4,306 employed or self-employed people reported fishing employment between 2005 and 2019. Employment in fishing has generally declined over this period. Number of jobs reported was highest in 2005 (4,735) and lowest in 2019 (3,673). Total wages for the fishing industry show a similar downward trend.
  • The timber extraction industry (forestry/logging and support activities) lost employment from 2005 to 2011, but held steady at around 1,300 to 1,400 jobs from 2011 to 2019. While timber employment stayed about the same, total wages for the timber industry have alternately decreased and increased during that timeframe.

Contributing Partners


No targets are currently set for this indicator.

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