Spokane County is the largest labor market in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. The labor force is approximately 230,000. In 2013, Spokane County averaged 202,125 jobs covered by unemployment insurance with a total payroll over $8.4 billion.The 25 to 34 year-olds make up the largest job holder age group at 22.0 percent of the workforce, an unusual asset in a top 100 MSA.
Education and Workforce
As the education hub of the Inland Northwest with 18 universities and colleges located in the area, Spokane has a dependable source of employees who are well trained, ready-to-work, and valued for loyalty.
Spokane is home to a full spectrum of opportunities in both public and private higher education, from two-year certificates to doctoral degrees. Nearly 90,000 students study at area colleges and universities within an 80-mile radius of Spokane, building the talent pool for the region.
The Universities work collaboratively with one another and with the regional business community to support workforce development, research and lifestyle initiatives to advance economic growth. A broad range of course offerings and programs from six-week classes focused on technical requirements of specific industries to graduate and doctoral studies prepare the next generation of professionals. The breadth of offerings serves the educational needs of diverse student populations as well as the broad workforce development requirements of new and established businesses.
Fairchild Air Force Base and Workforce
Air Force retirees and spouses are a valuable resource for dependable, trained workforce. Spokane is the second most requested place for retirement, after Hickam in Hawaii.
After graduating from Princeton, I could have worked in any of a number of major cities on the east coast, closer to family and friends. I was attracted to Spokane because of the small town friendliness and more relaxed pace of life, combined with entertainment and cultural offerings comparable to much larger cities. Add to that the natural beauty of lakes and mountains, and corresponding outdoor recreation opportunities—it’s simply unbeatable.
— Michelle Oresky, Structural Project Engineer, DCI Engineers