Washington is the place for space

Potential for significant growth, according to new PSRC study

Washington state and the central Puget sound region are well positioned to compete in a growing commercial space industry, according to a new study of the commercial space sector by the Puget Sound Regional Council.

“This study shows that the space industry today supports thousands of good paying jobs throughout our region and state and has the potential for significant growth in the future,” said Terry Ryan, Snohomish County Councilmember and Economic Development Board President.

“The central Puget Sound region is already a worldwide leader in aerospace and information technology, and we plan on being a world leader in the space industry as well,” Ryan said.

According to the Washington State Space Economy report, several companies in the region directly employ about 2,900 people in the space industry.

Another 1,100 jobs are indirectly created through the local supply chain and another 2,200 jobs are induced through the spending of the industry and its employees.

Business activities tied to direct, indirect and induced impacts of the space industry will contribute an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity to Washington communities in 2018.

Global industry poised for significant growth

The study highlights trends in the overall sector that will help this global industry grow an estimated seven times its current size by 2045, to $2.7 trillion.

These trends include lower costs to build and launch satellites and rockets, increasing the range of applications that can utilize space.

Washington has strengths that have helped establish the state in the industry, including long-term investments in space and aerospace supply chains, a large, skilled labor pool, support from universities and strong representation of private firms.

The analysis identifies areas for future work to grow the industry.

These include 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; growing the local talent pipeline for the high skill jobs in demand for the industry; and targeting tax credits for space craft and satellite manufacturing.

PSRC’s Economic Development Board initiated the study of the region’s space sector as a priority action for the regional economic strategy, Amazing Place.

Analysis was performed by BERK consulting, and was supported by contributions from Blue Origin, City of Kent, Suquamish Tribe, City of Redmond, Snohomish County, City of Federal Way, City of Everett, Port of Bremerton, and City of Seattle.

Visit www.psrc.org/space-study for more information.