Tag Archives: kitsap county

U.S. Open pumped $134M into regional economy

golf1_199469_ver1.The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay was expected to bring a lot of green to the Northwest. 

The weeklong event lived up to expectations, according to an economic impact analysis commissioned by the USGA. 

The study, conducted by Northwest economists, estimated the golf championship gave a $134 million boost to the economies of Pierce, King, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

Local governments spent about $7.6 million on the event, with more than $4 million coming from Pierce County.

The tournament, which ran June 15-21, attracted about 110,000 unique attendees to the Pierce County golf course. More than half came from surrounding counties, while one-third traveled from other states.

Chambers3_17063782_ver1.0_640_480“No other one week event in the history of the Pacific Northwest has had a greater economic impact,” Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy said in a new release.

The direct economic benefit to Kitsap County was relatively small, but not insignificant.

The report estimated the county’s hotel/motel sector reaped a $349,000 increase in revenue in June (hoteliers were already having a good year). Many Kitsap golf courses reported an uptick in traffic around the time of the U.S. Open.

Tourism boosters hope a more greater benefit to the county will materialize in the future, as spectators exposed to the region through the U.S. Open return to visit.

Kitsap businesses enjoyed record-setting fourth quarter sales

The fourth quarter of 2014 was kind to Kitsap County retailers.

Taxable sales across all industries in Kitsap were up 4.26 percent in October, November and December of 2014, compared with the same months of 2013.

Retail trade sales (sales made by traditional stores, dealerships, etc.) were up 5.56 percent, according to numbers released Monday by the state Department of Revenue.

Retailers posting the largest revenue gains in 2014 included auto dealers, drug stores, building material sellers, home furnishing stores and e-commerce enterprises.

More impressive than the year-over-year gains, sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 actually topped pre-recession highs:

With the fourth quarter numbers in the books, we can see how 2014 stacked up against previous retail years. While retail trade sales have rebounded from the recession, other industries are still catching up:

More local jobs, but unemployment still up

October saw more government jobs come on locally, but fewer Kitsap residents working overall.

Kitsap County’s unemployment rate — which includes Kitsap residents working in and outside the county — ticked up by 1 percent from September to October, landing at 6.2 percent.

The jump was due to two factors, according to a preliminary jobs report released by the Employment Security Department last week .

First, about 560 fewer Kitsap residents had jobs in October than in September (see chart below). Second, the county’s labor force (the total number of people with jobs or actively looking for work) grew by 550.

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How do Kitsap wages stack up?


In a recent post I explored how Kitsap County workers make more than their counterparts across the country, but less than the average Washington worker.

Of course it’s not quite that simple.

Wages vary widely by profession and location, and a report released by the state last month lets us take a closer look at those dynamics.

The Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates report is compiled by the Employment Security Department based on surveys of employers. The wage estimates are used by businesses to help set wages and are useful for comparing pay in different areas.

I pulled the average hourly pay for 10 professions, ranging from taco assembly to software programming, for counties around Puget Sound.

You can see how wages compare by clicking through the graphic below. Wave your clicker over the colored bars to see average hourly pay.

If you’re interested in seeing a comparison of wages for a profession I didn’t list above just drop a comment below and I’ll be happy to pull the data.

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More Kitsap residents found work in August

More Kitsap County residents were working in August, and more were looking for work, according to a monthly labor report. But fewer people held jobs with Kitsap employers.

Jobs In Kitsap

It’s typical to see a decline in employment toward the end of the summer as season winds down and young workers head back to college.

The drop off was especially precipitous this year among Kitsap employers, according to Employment Security Department estimates. The agency reported a drop of 1,100 jobs in the county between July and August.

Losses were in both the private and public sectors with the bulk coming from local governments. Continue reading

Kitsap poverty rate is low but rising


Nearly six hundred more Kitsap residents were living in poverty last year than in 2012.

And while the county’s poverty rate is low compared with other areas, it continues to rise.

An estimated 27,727, or 11.3 percent of Kitsap residents, were living below poverty levels in 2013, according to numbers released this week by the U.S. Cenus Bureau. By comparison, the Census estimated 8.5 percent of the Kitsap population, or 20,400 residents, were living in poverty in 2006.

The state poverty rate rose to 14.1 percent in 2013, with an additional 50,000 Washingtonians falling below poverty levels. The U.S. poverty rate remained flat at 15.8 percent.

According to the University of Washington’s West Coast Poverty Center, the continued rise of poverty rates, coupled with a widening income gap, suggest economic gains have yet to benefit many low-income residents.

“The poverty rate is an indicator of how well the most vulnerable do in our economy,” West Coast Poverty Center Director Jennifer Romich said in a statement. “The overall national picture suggests that economic growth is failing to reach everyone.”

See the center’s full analysis here.

Kitsap brewers make splash at WA Beer Awards

The Washington Beer Awards were announced Monday and Kitsap County was well represented.

blog.rainydazeRainy Daze Brewing (Silverdale), Valholl Brewing (Poulsbo), Silver City Brewery (Bremerton), Der Blokken (Bremerton), Sound Brewery (Poulsbo), and Bainbridge Island Brewing (um… Bainbridge Island?) combined for 16 medals.

Sound Brewery made a clean sweep of the Abbey-Inspired Ales category.

West Sound beer stood out among 460 entries from 75 Washington breweries. Here are the Kitsap winners (full results are embedded at the bottom):

Wheat and Rye Beers:
Silver: Rainy Daze Brewing – Rainy Rye IPA

American Light Ales:
Bronze: Valholl Brewing – Golden Warrior Continue reading

Why did Kitsap’s population shrink in 2013?


The U.S. Census Bureau released a nifty interactive map this week chronicling population shifts across the nation.

The map shows population change in 2003 side-by-side with 2013, presenting snapshots of growth separated by a decade.

According to the map, the estimated population of the Bremerton/Silverdale statistical area (read Kitsap County) grew by 1,692 people between 2002 and 2003, a 0.63 percent change. The population dipped by 657 between 2012 and 2013, a -0.26 percent change.

So why does the Census Bureau think Kitsap lost residents last year?

To determine population change, the bureau calculates births, deaths, international immigration (including overseas military deployment) and domestic immigration.

Below is a chart showing how those components played out in Kitsap last year. (Note these numbers don’t add up to the total population change, which incorporates a broader set of factors.)

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