Snapshots

Seattle consistently outperformed Census job density growth estimates from 2005-2015

Job density, defined as jobs per square mile, is on the rise across U.S. metros according to a recent Brookings Institute report.

September 25, 2019
  • Job density, defined as jobs per square mile, is on the rise across U.S. metros according to a recent Brookings Institute report. The 94 largest metros saw a 30 percent increase in job density from 2004-2015. The vast majority of this increase can be attributed to just four markets - Seattle, New York, San Francisco and Chicago.
  • Of the densest U.S. metros, Seattle stands ahead of the pack in terms of outpacing Census density growth estimates, outperforming expectations by an annual average of nearly 30 percent from 2005-2015. 
  • From an employment density perspective, Seattle benefits from being geographically bound relative to other large metros as it can’t sprawl similar to large cities like Los Angeles, Dallas or Houston. The Puget Sound contains a majority jobs within urban corridors while maintaining a relative ease of access for public transportation infrastructure, contributing to Seattle’s rapidly growing public transit ridership.
  • Across the country, jobs in the information sector were added to already dense cities and submarkets at a higher rate than any other sector. This has been particularly evident in the Seattle CBD as traditional tenants have downsized, leaving the door open for new software engineering offices to land in the CBD more often than any other submarket.
  • Job density has long been known to facilitate further economic growth through the flow of ideas, resources and talent. Given strong, continued demand among tech companies for both talent and office space across Seattle and the Eastside, coupled with a limited supply of high quality space, look for Seattle’s job density growth to continue on it’s current trajectory.

Source: Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program, JLL Research, U.S. Census Bureau

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