Retail Employment Trends

Washington Metro Areas

August 2020 Update


The retail sector in Washington’s metropolitan areas continued its road to recovery by adding 8,900 jobs in July.

Using Localintel's free and publicly accessible Industry Job Tracker, this report provides 7 observations highlighting changes in manufacturing employment levels for the state's metro areas. At the time of writing, the Tracker draws on the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as released on August 21, 2020.

Observation 1

These 5 Washington metro areas recorded the steepest increase in retail jobs last month (measured by percentage change in manufacturing jobs from June 2020):

Name% increase change in jobs

Observation 2

These 5 Washington areas experienced the largest gains in retail jobs in July 2020 (measured by the change in the number of manufacturing jobs from June 2020):

Namechange in jobs% increase
Spokane-Spokane Valley6002.1%

Observation 3

Olympia-Tumwater was the only metro area in Washington to record a net job loss in the retail sector for July 2020, with 200 fewer retail jobs than reported in June 2020.

Observation 4

The following 5 cities contain the largest number of retail jobs in Washington. Together they added a combined total of 7,900 retail jobs last month.

Nametotal jobschange in jobs
Spokane-Spokane Valley29,400600

Observation 5

The following 5 Washington metro areas have the highest concentration of retail jobs in the state (measured by location quotient). They added a combined total of 2,200 retail jobs in July.

NameLQchange in jobs
Mount Vernon-Anacortes1.6200
Spokane-Spokane Valley1.2600

Observation 6

In July 2020, there were 4,900 fewer retail jobs in Washington metros than in July 2019.

Want to know more?

Localintel’s interactive Industry Job Tracker can be accessed at We created the Tracker to help economic developers and policy makers keep an eye on employment change in the nation’s metropolitan areas. The online tool draws on the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and is updated monthly by Localintel.

Data source

Localintel’s Industry Job Tracker presents data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics survey (establishment survey). The establishment survey provides information on employment, hours, and earnings of employees on nonfarm payrolls. BLS collects this data each month from a sample of over 390,000 establishments employing over 47 million nonfarm wage and salary workers, full or part time, who receive pay during the payroll period which includes the 12th of the month. According to the BLS, statistics based on the establishment survey are subject to both sampling and non-sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence. The BLS does not seasonally adjust the industry specific employment data for metro areas. Localintel updates the Industry Job Tracker each month with the latest BLS establishment survey data for metro areas. The Tracker identifies the period to which the data applies and when the last update occurred. More information about the Current Employment Statistics program can be found at Definitions for Metropolitan Areas and how the BLS measures geographic areas can be accessed at   

About Localintel

Localintel makes online economic development tools that hundreds of organizations have added to their website to promote their community’s advantages, assist local businesses and monitor trends. Localintel’s customers range from the small city of Brazoria (population 3,112 people) through to Texas Economic Development Corporation, Washington DC Economic Partnership, Indy Chamber, New Orleans Business Alliance and the cities of Southfield, Royal Oak, Troy and East Lansing.

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