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Dave Gering
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Seattle Industry is published by the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle

SI eBulletin

Year-End 2012:
Manufacturing by the Numbers

Posted: December 20, 2012

2012 is ending the same way as the past few years, with a mediocre at-best northwest economy enjoying a billion-dollar boost from manufacturing. Except that the final boost will probably be worth somewhere around $140 billion.

The final count won’t be available for a few more months. But, as the year winds down, this is how things stack up.

Boeing reported 537 aircraft deliveries through November of this year. With December deliveries still not accounted for, that compared to 477 deliveries in all of 2011. The production numbers explain why our economy is so much better than it might be. They also reflect the rising aircraft production rates detailed by Steve Wilhelm in the Dec. 14 issue of the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The rest of manufacturing did not keep pace with aircraft production during 2012, but the overall impact of the sector continued to exceed popular misconceptions.

Evidence comes from the following numbers available through the Washington State Department of Revenue. They are based on the gross business revenues that each company must report for all of its operations within the state to calculate each company’s financial liability for state B&O and other taxes.

The most recent period for which final numbers are available is the second quarter of 2012. During that period, manufacturing companies reported revenues of $36.2 billion including $11.5 billion from aircraft manufacturing.

To put that sum into context, it was more than all the revenues reported by:

all publishing, telephone and telecommunication companies;

all banks and credit unions;

all insurance and real estate brokers and agents;

all legal, accounting, architectural and engineering firms;

all advertising agencies and computer consultants;

all doctor and dentist offices;

all hospitals and nursing homes;

all arts, entertainment and spectator sporting outlets;

all hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants and bars;

all grocery stores and department stores, and

all e-commerce – or, at least, all e-commerce reported to the state.

Combined revenues for all those sectors was $32.5 billion, nearly $4 billion less than revenues from manufacturing.

Not bad for a sector that was written off as a Dodo bird by the intelligentsia 15 years ago and which today continues to fly pretty high.

Check back with Seattle Industry for more news in the New Year.

Happy holidays.



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