Equity Tracker - Economy [DRAFT]

Last Updated: 
Aug 3, 2018

This page is for review by the Equity Advisory Committee. Please do not quote or reference the information presented here. All draft material is subject to change.

Equity Home > Themes > Economy [DRAFT]

The region aims to have a prospering and sustainable regional economy by supporting businesses and job creation, investing in all people and their health, sustaining environmental quality, and creating great central places, diverse communities, and high quality of life.

Economic success is an important contributor to an individual’s quality of life. Education and access to good paying jobs provide a foundation for economic opportunities, but these opportunities are not as accessible to some of the region’s residents based upon race or geographic location. Income, home ownership and business ownership are important measures of economic success. Educational attainment and access to living wage jobs are key contributing factors to an individual’s success. Inequities in these areas are interrelated with educational success contributing to higher incomes and homeownership, which have an impact on generational wealth. Examining these measures highlight demographic and geographic inequities in the region.




Drivers of inequity [DRAFT]

Mirroring national trends, the regional economy is increasingly polarized between high-wage, knowledge-economy jobs and low-wage service sector jobs. High-wage workers are seeing tremendous income gains while low-wage workers’ wages have stagnated or declined, and the middle-wage jobs that have typically served as stepping stones into the middle class for workers without college degrees are disappearing. Historic racial and gender inequities have driven who in the region has benefitted from these higher wage jobs, and who has been negatively impacted by stagnant wages and lack of middle-wage opportunities.


Related regional policies [DRAFT]


Within VISION 2050, the multicounty planning policies (MPPs) are designed to establish opportunities for collaboration, provide guidance for local and regional planning efforts, and contribute to achieving the region's long-term goals. The policies listed below represent a subset of MPPs that have been identified as having equity considerations within the economic theme.

  • MPP-Ec-7: Foster a supportive environment for business startups, small businesses, locally owned and women- an minority-owned businesses to help them continue to prosper.
  • MPP-Ec-10: Ensure that the region has a high-quality education system that is accessible to all of the region’s residents.
  • MPP-Ec-12: Identify potential physical, economic, and cultural displacement of existing businesses that may result from redevelopment and market pressure. Use a range of strategies to mitigate displacement impacts to the extent feasible.
  • MPP-Ec-13: Promote equity and access to opportunity in economic development policies and programs. Expand employment opportunity to improve the region’s shared economic future.
  • MPP-Ec-14: Foster appropriate and targeted economic growth in areas with low and very low access to opportunity to improve access to opportunity for current and future residents of these areas.
  • MPP-Ec-15: Support and recognize the contributions of the region’s culturally and ethnically diverse communities and Native Tribes, including helping the region continue to expand its international economy.


Regional strategies to address existing inequities [DRAFT]

The following strategies and actions have been identified in VISION 2050 as ways to address inequities for this area. These include more specific mitigation measures aimed at supporting the plan's regional goals and policies within the economic theme.

Ec-Action-1: PSRC and the Economic Development District will coordinate economic development efforts to strengthen the region’s industries, economic foundations and to implement the Regional Economic Strategy.

  • Support established and emerging industry clusters.
  • Support businesses, ports, and agencies involved in trade-related activities.
  • Provide a supportive environment for business startups, small businesses, and locally owned businesses.
  • Encourage regionwide and statewide collaboration among business, government, education, military, and others.

Ec-Action-2: PSRC will support county and local jurisdictions through technical assistance and economic data with special emphasis on smaller jurisdictions, in their efforts to development economic development elements as part of their expected 2024 compr

  • Prioritize mixed-use housing projects that include affordable commercial space for small businesses.
  • Create zoning amendments for small-scale commercial nodes that are more appropriate for small businesses

Ec-Action-3: PSRC and the Economic Development District, in collaboration with county economic development councils and other partners, will maintain regional economic data and develop regionwide and subarea forecasts.

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Ec-Action-4: Identify regional roles in achieving the desired allocation of new jobs as reflected in the Regional Growth Strategy.

  • Use incentives and investments to create a closer balance between jobs and housing.
  • Support economic activity and employment in rural and natural resources areas compatible with those lands.

Ec-Action-5: Cities and counties will update (or adopt) their economic development element – tailored to meet the jurisdiction’s unique needs and leveraging public investments – as specified in the Growth Management Act, when conducting the expected 2024

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Other actions to address economic inequities [DRAFT]

  • Preserve adequate land at reasonable cost for land-intensive commercial industries.
  • Direct growth and development away from lands that could be used for specific industries that are incompatible with that development.
  • Mitigate transportation impacts to promote economic prosperity and quality of life.
  • Invest in infrastructure that connects designated centers.
  • Promote economic activity and employment growth that sustains diversity of family wage jobs.
  • Support a high-quality education system and training programs.
  • Implement the Regional Economic Strategy.
  • Adopt first source hiring ordinances to ensure that local residents are given priority for new jobs created by municipal financing and development programs.