Posted by: Josh Lehner | February 25, 2013

NW Metro Employment

I’m pulling some regional information together for a presentation and wanted to pass along these employment graphs. These include all Idaho, Oregon and Washington MSAs. The bubble graph shows data based on 2012q4 with growth over the past year along the horizontal axis and growth over the most recent quarter on the vertical axis. The size of the bubbles show the relative size of each city’s employment and the yellow star is the US overall. You want to be in the upper right hand quadrant of the graph as that means you are adding jobs in the past few months and have been adding them over the past year. It should be noted that once the employment revisions come out in a couple weeks, at least for Oregon, these figures should be stronger and show more growth. I will try to update some of these comparisons once the revisions are released for state and local areas.


The second shows how employment today compares relative to early 2008, when employment peaked in Oregon and Washington (Idaho peaked in 2007q3). While nearly all Northwest MSAs are gaining jobs today, this provides a snapshot of how much more ground needs to be made up before returning to pre-recession levels. It also shows that while Tri-Cities is currently losing jobs in recent months, the area is till outperforming the rest of the NW over the business cycle.



  1. Shouldn’t that Tri-Cities bar have a Hanford asterisk next to it? I’m not a labor economist, but I thought federal transfers into the area, particularly on a per capita basis, are massive. PNNL isn’t exactly chump change, either.

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