Washington Jobs & Economy

Puget Sound’s ports provide the most direct shipping link between major markets in Asia, the Midwest and the heavily populated East Coast.  Foreign exports directly and indirectly account for one third of Washington’s economic output.

With Washington serving as a transshipment center, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma are a major distribution hub for the many companies that maintain warehouses nearby.  Together, the two ports formed the Northwest Seaport Alliance – a marine cargo operating partnership. The transport of goods traveling via rail or truck to retail locations throughout the region—or to warehouses before being shipped overseas—creates jobs and generates business income and tax revenue for the state. 

Their regional economic impact includes the following:

  • The ports of Seattle and Tacoma together handled nearly 3.7 million TEUs in 2021.
  • The seaports’ activities generated nearly $136 million in state and local taxes in 2017.
  • Cargo operations at both ports created more than $5.9 billion in business revenue in 2017. 
  • NWSA activities supports 58,400 jobs in the state of Washington.