The Skagit Advantage

Sedro-Woolley is located in Skagit County, Washington. SkagitCounty is known for its tulip fields that draw tourists from around the world. The county is the center of the state’s petroleum industry with its refineries and accessible ports, as well as barge and ship berths that handle logs, steel, lumber, and dry bulk commodities in Anacortes. It’s also the home of major manufacturers, such as Janicki Industries in Sedro-Woolley, high tech companies, agricultural and forest product businesses, shopping centers and small retailers and a host of other successful businesses.

Skagit County, also known as the Mount Vernon- Anacortes Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), was certainly one of the fastest growing MSAs in the state from 1990 through 2007. Skagit County’s private nonfarm payrolls grew by 60% over this period, while the statewide average growth came in at 40%. Only the MSAs of Thurston and Kitsap counties exceeded Skagit County’s job growth over this period.

For the three months ending in November 2010, the Skagit County year-over-year growth in private sector jobs has been positive. Skagit is the only northwest county to earn this distinction. Indeed, none of the other three northwest counties had any positive private job growth on a year-over-year basis in these three months and neither did the state as a whole. Total payrolls in Skagit County have been dragged down by weakness in the local government sector, but that was not enough to cause a loss in total jobs when including government jobs over these three months.

Clearly, there is something special about the economic dynamism of Skagit County.

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