New state report highlights health of the state retail industry

Apr 3, 2019
Written by wpengine

The latest state labor market and economic report includes references to the health of the Washington State retail industry the past couple of years.

The data is from an Employment Security Department report that tracked changes in various industries over a period of years. The points listed below are on graphs from pages 27-29 of the 131-page report.

Regarding retail:

  • Retail led 14 industries statewide in percentage gains in wages. Retail wages grew nearly 15 percent from 2016 through 2017, more than double the growth percentage wise of the information industry, which was second on the list.
  • Growth in annual taxable retail sales has been pivotal to the state’s long recovery from the recession of a decade ago. Since 2013, annual taxable retail sales have grown annually from $115 billion in 2013 to a record $155 billion in 2017.
  • Online retailers led in the percentage gains in sales from 2016 through 2017, at about 11 percent. Next in line were building material and garden supply stores at 9 percent; electronics and appliance stores at just over 8 percent; and furniture and home furnishings stores at just over 6 percent.
  • Other retail categories including stores that sell food, gasoline, autos, clothing and general merchandise show percentage sale gains of between 2 percent and 6 percent for the review period.

Click here to review the entire report.