Spokane Economy Remains Strong
Spokane continued to see steady growth which is forecast to continue in 2017. The regional economy is a subset of the national economy, but local economists expect it to fare better than the U.S. overall.
Permitting, a leading indicator, increased 30.5% overall in the County, spanning nearly all categories. New projects continue to fill the pipeline.
Other indicators were also positive. Retail trade taxable sales rose 5.8 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Passenger levels at Spokane International Airport continued healthy growth. In real estate, both single-family home sales and prices, rose 10% or more.
Local job growth outpaced both Washington state and the nation. Spokane’s rate was 3.6% versus the U.S. average of 1.2%.
Spokane has experienced three years of significant job growth, adding nearly 15,000 jobs, many in the higher-wage professional and technical area. Employment growth should continue in 2017 and include the multiplier effect, particularly in leisure and hospitality, from previous job creation.
In many markets, the labor supply is decreasing, but Spokane’s is growing. An in-migration of job seekers, including professionals and individuals with technical skills, combined with the affordable cost of living, lack of congestion and great quality of life, puts Spokane at an advantage in attracting businesses looking to relocate.
Learn more in the Q3 2016 Business Barometer.