Economic impact of space industry in Washington state doubles, study finds
The space industry in the central Puget Sound region is booming and has doubled its economic impact in recent years, according to a new Puget Sound Regional Council analysis (PSRC).
The space industry accounted for $4.6 billion in economic activity in 2021, supporting a total of 13,103 jobs and $1.6 billion in labor income.
While the development of launch vehicles and other activities by Kent’s Blue Origin has been a source of growth, the advancement of satellite manufacturing and related services by Starlink, Project Kuiper, LeoStella and other companies has also been a source of growth. major source of new regional jobs.
“Supporting the commercial space sector is an opportunity to develop the region’s long aerospace history and build the resilience of the region’s economy,” said Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn, Chairman of the District Economic Development Council. “This study offers valuable data and analysis that will help guide future efforts to support businesses involved in the space economy and grow these jobs across the region.”
“This study shows that one of the keys to our economic future and our shared prosperity is to develop the local talent pool for high-skilled jobs in demand in the space industry and other technology fields,” added the Board member Claudia Balducci, President of the PSRC.
Here’s more from the PSRC:
Trends highlighted in the 2022 report include:
- Employment and economic activity in the regional space economy have doubled since 2018.
- The region’s new startups are adding diversity to the region’s space industry beyond major employers, while also adding new space-related offerings.
- Regional companies are at the forefront of commercial human spaceflight, which is expected to grow.
- Future development of the regional space economy would benefit from support for regional entrepreneurship, workforce development and venture capital funding.
“The potential for our space ecosystem to lead the market is palpable, but action is needed to seize this opportunity,” said Emily Wittman, president and CEO of the Aerospace Futures Alliance and the Washington State Space Coalition. “The private space sector in Washington is being deprived of the investment and attention given to space innovators in other states.”
This 2022 report provides new data from Washington State’s 2018 Space Economy Report, which found that the central Puget Sound region is well positioned to be a leader in space exploration and development. business in the future, given the long-standing activity in the aerospace sector, high-technology manufacturing resources, information technology assets and a strong talent pool.
The 2018 report identified areas for future work to develop the industry. On the list: supporting space-related startups through expanded access to venture capital, business incubators and other services; expanding the state’s robust aerospace supply chain to meet the needs of the burgeoning space industry, developing the local talent pool for high-skilled jobs in demand for the industry; and targeting tax credits for the manufacture of spacecraft and satellites.
The Economic Development District Board of the PSRC initiated the study of the space sector of the region as a priority action of the regional economic strategy.
The analysis was carried out by BERK consulting and the 2022 update was funded by the Aerospace Futures Alliance. The original 2018 study was supported by contributions from Blue Origin, City of Kent, Suquamish Tribe, City of Redmond, County of Snohomish, City of Federal Way, City of Everett, the Port of Bremerton and the City of Seattle.
Download a copy of 2022 Washington State Spatial Economy report.
The PSRC develops policy and coordinates decisions regarding regional growth, transportation and economic development planning in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The PSRC is made up of more than 100 entities, including the four counties, cities and towns, ports, state and local transportation agencies, and tribal governments in the region.
The PSRC supports the work of the Central Puget Sound Economic Development District, which is governed by a board of public and private members that meets quarterly to coordinate regional economic development planning.