Regional Economic Impact Analysis
Economic Impact of South Sound’s #1 Employer Reaches $15B
Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is the fourth-largest employer in Washington State, the number one employer in Pierce County, and an essential driver to the economic momentum of Washington State and the South Sound Region. The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) works to enhance partnership and collaboration between military and community leaders.
The value of SSMCP is its network of members working collaboratively toward common goals. Underpinning our efforts is the recognition of the interdependency of JBLM and the broader South Puget Sound Region. No project better demonstrates this interdependency than the SSMCP Business & Economic Development Work Group collaboration with the UW Tacoma, Center for Business Analytics (CBA) on the regional economic impact of JBLM. The work group found JBLM’s regional economic impact now reaches $15B.
This analysis utilizes IMPLAN simulations to estimate impacts but also incorporates interactions with larger sectors of the economy and cross-region interactions. IMPLAN modeling is used to track how an economic action, such as wages paid to employees or the purchases of supplies, will ripple through a regional economy creating different levels of revenue, jobs, and income in many different economic sectors. This modeling was done by Gene Angel, Director of Research Thurston Economic Development Council guiding the five student graduate team from the CBA. An example of the results of this modeling is shown below as JBLM’s total economic output for 2022 vs. Industry GDP of Pierce and Thurston Counties.
The research methodology followed the example of previous work done in 2020 as shown below. The difference in this year’s analysis was that a deliberate effort was made to ensure that only authoritative data sources were used and that the results from the data followed a repeatable process. The majority of the critical data collection and analysis was performed by Steve Selman JBLM, Chief of Plans, Analysis, and Integration Office.