Retail plays a major role in support of the Washington State economy.
Nearly 400,000 people work for retailers across the state. The industry supports one in four American jobs and is the nation’s largest private sector employer.
In Washington State:
- The retail industry has generated steadily increasing annual sales that generate tax revenues to the state. It set a record of $181.1 billion in taxable retail sales in 2019.
- Retail sale and use taxes generate slightly more than have the state’s general fund budget for services to taxpayers.
- Employment in retail has steadily grown in recent years. The retail industry employed 393,100 individuals statewide, as of January 2018.