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.

As the welding category suggests, Kitsap is most competitive in the industrial trades. I didn’t include machinists in the graphic, but they also earn more on average than their counterparts around the sound, including King County.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Kitsap’s largest employer, snaps up most of these skilled tradespeople. That, in turn, forces private employers to pay more to recruit them.

Kitsap offers wages comparable to Thurston and Pierce counties in most other fields, but lags behind King and Snohomish counties in most areas (as does the rest of the state).

The regional wage discrepancy is one reason Kitsap could see a labor shortage as the economic recovery continues.


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