Councilmember Godden left office on January 1, 2016.
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Gloomy day, rosy forecast



EnterpriseSeattle, an economic development organization that works to attract and preserve jobs in the Seattle area, held its annual board retreat at the Space Needle  last week . And, although the day was gloomy, views about the economy were decidedly upbeat.

Chris Mefford, enterpriseSeattle economist, quickly zipped through an economic report that highlighted job growth in the past year. King County jobs are up 24,400 in 2010. That breaks down into the addition of 25,300 private sector jobs and a net loss of 900 public sector jobs.  Mefford presented slides that showed that the largest growth was in administrative and support service jobs, wholesale and retail trade positions and financial services. Construction which shed jobs heavily during the recession is beginning to pick up as are leisure and hospitality jobs and nondurable manufacturing.

Seattle, which often is late into recessions and late getting out of fiscal slumps, nevertheless performed well in comparison to competitive regions, doing better than Denver, Portland and Minneapolis, but not quite as well as San Diego and Atlanta.

Employment outlook for the Seattle area is forecast to grow by 2.2 percent annually from 2010-2016, according to Conway and Moody’s Economy.com. That  forecast says the region can expect 250,000 new jobs or approximately 40,000 new jobs per year. It’s expected that the region will outpace national growth.

Heaviest percentage job growth is expected on the Eastside. But Seattle with nearly half a million jobs, will show the largest numerical increase, with an expected addition of nearly 50,000 jobs.

The board heard from Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett, newly elected chair Cary Badger and Jeff Marcell, new CEO of enterpriseSeattle.

All that was missing from the report was the informal latte index, which, in case you follow such nonscientific predictions, is favorable. Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffee giant, is expecting to open 500 new stores nationwide over the next year. That will outpace the number of McDonald’s outlets for the first time ever.