Dec 07 2008
Our national economy and Seattle’s slower growth in projected revenue required the Seattle City Council to make tough adjustments to the 2009-2010 budget. While Seattle remains stronger than the rest of the country, we must prioritize a heightened attentiveness to the local economy – with an unemployment rate of 6.2% in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area, smart policy decisions are critical. We must be proactive, willing to take risks, and think creatively.
This past November’s job losses are troubling and, close to home, JP Morgan will cut 9,200 jobs at Washington Mutual. Boeing announced plans to cut its workforce by about 10,000 people this year alone. In January, Microsoft announced it will lay off approximately 5,000 employees and Starbucks plans to layoff 7,000 more jobs. Even with this distressing news, the state of our economy could be an opportunity to undergo a transformation into a 21st century economy. Seattle and regional leaders must work together to consider new ways to solve the biggest issues facing our city and our region. Because our economy is built on and powered primarily by oil, natural gas, and coal – which are all finite resources that will only escalate in cost – our new local mental checklist must require us to rethink our dependence on resources that are neither energy efficient, nor cost efficient.