Center for Economic and Business Research

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For many job seekers, WA job market still far from a pre-pandemic norm

Taken as a whole, Washington’s “labor market still tilts in favor of [job] seekers,” says James McCafferty, co-director at the Center for Economic & Business Research at Western Washington University. But in some sectors, McCafferty concedes, “it may not feel like it.” 

Pandemic shopping spree creates economic windfall for rural communities

Before the pandemic, many rural counties struggled to bring in enough taxes to fund services.

But a change in how we collect sales tax, followed by a pandemic, has turned things around for some of them, at least for now.

To understand what changed, you have to go back to 2008.…

Lagging behind national trend, Seattle workers not in hurry to return to the office

This spring many Seattle-area firms began reopening their offices and tempting workers back with promises of pizza, spontaneous workplace joviality and other all-but-forgotten pleasures of in-person employment.

To which many office workers appear to have said, “meh” — much to the dismay…

With gas prices giving folks sticker shock, what will it do to Whatcom’s economy?

While Whatcom County residents are suffering from sticker shock as they pump gasoline, local economists are weighing what impact the price increase will have on the overall local economy.

The average price for a gallon of gas in Whatcom County hit $4.61, according to AAA Washington. That…

Editorial: Kids need a week in the woods for outdoor learning

Ask former Everett School District students about Camp Silverton, and you’re likely to hear tales from former fifth-grade campers and high school counselors of days spent identifying trees and plants, visiting historic mines and the Big Four ice caves, testing river water for pH levels, sleeping…

Data analysis shows the big shifts coming to Kitsap's economy

Here at KEDA (Kitsap Economic Development Alliance), we just updated our Kitsap Community Economic Profile in partnership with Western Washington University’s Center for Economic and Business Research. In this publication we traditionally favor accuracy over speed, so we’re mostly using 2020…

During the pandemic Whatcom bankruptcy filings have tumbled to record lows. Here’s why

Despite plenty of pandemic-related shocks to the Whatcom economy, bankruptcy filings in 2021 set a record low. Last year, 155 bankruptcies of all chapters were filed in Whatcom County, according to data from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Washington in Seattle. That’s down 25%…

Job growth slows in Washington, even as it surges nationally

Another potential factor behind the differences between state and national trends may reflect Washington’s relatively conservative approach to COVID-19 restrictions, said Hart Hodges, an economist and director of the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington…

Will Whatcom County continue to see a significant number of bank branches close?

It’ll be interesting to see where things go with bank branches, said Hart Hodges, co-director of the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University. Hodges noted that this area, particularly Bellingham, is well-served with financial branches — not…

Whatcom’s job market is still in disarray. These industries are bouncing back

While the overall numbers give the appearance of stability, Whatcom County’s job market is still a bit chaotic as the local economy attempts to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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