Major Employer Trends and Highlights for 2014

Job growth among 2014’s major employers was spread widely, representing the diversity of products and services sourced in Pierce County as well as institutions of government, education and trade. Of the major employers whose data was available for both 2013 and 2014, slightly more employers grew in FTE-count than declined (68 vs. 66).

Total job growth was not particularly robust this year, but it was widespread and organizations who reduced employment gave up relatively few positions. There appears to be a cautious optimism among major employers and a willingness to invest. To some extent, this has been reflected in the use of temporary employees to increase production, though statistical support for this observation is, by design, not captured in this annual report.

In 2014, the 1,883 FTEs (resulting from new and expanded operations by major employers) represent 28% of the total FTE growth (6,699) for the year.

The healthcare industry remains the largest private sector cluster.  At 13,767 FTEs, healthcare’s employment dwarfs even that of major manufacturers who currently employ 9,175.

New and Expanded Operations

Four major employers (all EDB clients) began new operations or expanded existing operations significantly in Pierce County in time to report a total growth of 1,883 FTEs for 2014. The four companies are: 1. Carlisle Construction Materials with 135 employees; 2. Western Institutional Review Board with 202 employees; 3. State Farm Insurance, which added a downtown Tacoma location and increased employment from 1,060 to 2,206, a difference of 1,146 for a growth rate of 108%; and 4. Amazon which hired for the opening of its second Pierce County facility, this one in Dupont, increasing its core employment from approximately 300 to 700 FTEs, a growth of approximately 133%.

Largest Employers

The United States Military (Joint Base Lewis-McChord) remains the County’s largest employer with 66,054 FTEs, up from 63,501 a year ago, a growth of 2,553 FTEs or 4%. Due to the complexity involved in compiling this number (and to avoid double-counting), the number reported includes Active Duty Military, Reserve Component Military (National Guard and Reserves), Transit and Rotational Military, and Civilian Personnel (including those employed by third party contractors (currently 16,198).

MultiCare Health System and Franciscan Health System remained the two largest private employers with 6,904 employees and 5,338 employees, respectively.

The agglomerated employment of 15 local public school districts totals 13,408 FTEs compared to 13,133 FTEs a year ago, a growth of 275 FTEs or 2%.

The State of Washington (its several offices and agencies, not including higher education) reports employment growth of 246 FTEs or 4%, from 6,209 to 6,455.

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians reports 3,042 FTE employees, of which 2,061 are employed by the Emerald Queen Casino, while the balance are employed in functions of governance.

State Farm Insurance grew this year, recommitting to its Dupont location while expanding into downtown Tacoma to become one of the largest employers in Pierce County. At 2,206 employees today, it has doubled in size from 1,060 a year ago.

Aerospace Manufacturing

Among the six aerospace manufacturing companies qualified for this year’s list, employment grew by 88 FTEs to 3,026, an increase of approximately 3%.  This in spite of the fact that Pierce County’s largest aerospace manufacturer, Boeing, declined from 1,802 to 1,670 jobs, a loss of 3%. In essence, Boeing suppliers in Pierce County grew by more than enough to offset the short-term loss of 132 jobs at Boeing, ahead of the recently announced addition of a production line in connection with the 777x aircraft. The other five aerospace manufacturers who made this year’s list are: Toray Composites (America), Inc. (516), AIM Aerospace (365), General Plastics (185), Cadence Aerospace –PMW Operations (184), and Tool Gauge Machining & Plastic Molded Parts (106).

Food Processing & Specialty Foods Manufacturing

Seven companies qualified this year whose manufactured products are food ingredients or specialty foods (e.g. candy or cake decorations). Overall this sector of our Major Employers List declined slightly from 1,476 to 1,447 FTEs for an overall loss of 29 jobs or 2%. The seven companies listed in this sector are: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (368), Mission Foods (250), Brown & Haley (215), Wilcox Family Farm (200), Shining Ocean (162), Golden State Foods (151), and Lucks Food Decorating (101).

Other Manufacturing

Twenty-three other large manufacturing firms are included in the 2014 list. Together they represent products as diverse as windows, precision parts, boat interiors, military uniforms and gear, and plate steel fabrications (the end results of forming, welding and machining). Seven of the companies reduced employment while 12 gained (with others staying the same or being new to this year’s list). Taken together, these twenty-three companies’ total employment of 4,702 showed a net increase of 328 FTEs over the previous year, a growth rate of 7.5%.

Health Care

The local healthcare industry remained strong in 2014 but employment actually declined in 2 of the 3 major institutions. Specifically, Franciscan Health System reduced employment by 8.2%, from 5,814 to 5,338, and Group Health reduced its employment from 744 to 733. MultiCare Health System grew by 128 FTEs from 6,776 to 6,904, the result of acquisitions. Another major healthcare employer deserving of special mention this year is Community Healthcare which opened its new Hilltop Family Medical Clinic in 2014 and employs a total of 334. In addition, three practice groups of independent physicians (Sound Family Medicine, NW Medical Specialties, and Cardiac Study Center) have 182, 164, and 112 employees, respectively. The total employment in this sector for 2014 is 13,767 FTEs.

Senior Care Services

The term “Senior Care Services,” introduced this year, refers to an array of personal living and/or health-related services offered primarily to senior citizens. The services are designed to meet widely varying needs with diversity in delivery methods and intensities of service appropriate to individual circumstances. To avoid double-counting employment, similar services offered by hospitals, major health systems and independent physician practice groups are not included in this category. In 2014 nine employers reported 1,426 FTEs, providing services as diverse as independent senior living, assisted living, rehabilitation services, skilled nursing, home health care, memory care and mental health services for seniors. Several providers offer more than one sub-category of service and no single provider offers the full array. Reporting for 2013 and prior years was not adequate for comparative purposes and 2014 numbers may thus suggest a baseline for this category.

Construction

Seven construction firms report 959 FTEs this year, led by Adolfson & Peterson with 162. Note that these numbers do not include temporary construction workers who may be employed for months when mobilized for specific projects, often in succession. Though not counted in construction, it’s worth noting that several important Pierce County manufacturers are suppliers to this industry, among them Milgard with 818 FTEs, Manke Lumber with 353, Pacific Crest Industries with 247, Concrete Technology with 188, and Northwest Doors with 183.

RankOrganizationFTEsSector
1JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD 66054MILITARY
2LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS13408EDUCATION
3MULTICARE HEALTH SYSTEM 6904HEALTHCARE
4STATE OF WASHINGTON 6455GOVERNMENT
5FRANCISCAN HEALTH SYSTEM5338HEALTHCARE
6PIERCE COUNTY GOVERNMENT2979GOVERNMENT
7WASHINGTON STATE HIGHER EDUCATION2566EDUCATION
8FRED MEYER STORES2560RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
9STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANIES2206INSURANCE
10TACOMA, CITY OF2077.5GOVERNMENT
11EMERALD QUEEN CASINO2061GAMING
12BOEING COMPANY, THE 1670AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING
13US POSTAL SERVICE1464GOVERNMENT
14TACOMA PUBLIC UTILITIES1334UTILITY SERVICES
15WAL-MART 1304RETAIL
16SAFEWAY STORES, INC.1296.5RETAIL
17COSTCO1205RETAIL
18YMCA OF TACOMA-PIERCE COUNTY1057FITNESS & RECREATION
19COMCAST CABLE*1046MEDIA
20PUYALLUP TRIBE981GOVERNMENT
21INTERNATIONAL LONGSHORE AND WAREHOUSE UNION #23 944UNION
22PIERCE TRANSIT835TRANSIT
23MILGARD MANUFACTURING, INC.818MANUFACTURING
24GROUP HEALTH COOPERATIVE 733HEALTHCARE
25AMAZON700DISTRIBUTION
26PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY 695EDUCATION
27HOME DEPOT*692RETAIL
28UNIVERSITY OF PUGET SOUND667EDUCATION
29RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT, INC. (REI) 624RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
30GOODWILL INDUSTRIES620NONPROFIT
31DAVITA604HEALTHCARE
32COLUMBIA BANK599BANKING
33O'REILLY AUTOPARTS582RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
34CAMBIA HEALTH (REGENCE)546INSURANCE
35CATHOLIC COMMUNITY SERVICES518NONPROFIT
36TORAY COMPOSITES (AMERICA), INC.516AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING
37ROBERT LARSON AUTOMOTIVE GROUP506RETAIL
38WASTE CONNECTIONS 494SERVICES
39ALBERTSON'S LLC INC.473RETAIL
40GORDON TRUCKING INC 464TRANSPORTATION
41J.C. PENNEY CO., INC*462RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
42MCLANE NORTHWEST428FOOD DISTRIBUTION
43METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT425GOVERNMENT & RECREATION
44POTELCO425SERVICES
45ROCKTENN**422MANUFACTURING
46AACRES WA LLC420DISABILITY REHABILITATION SERVICES
47WALGREENS DRUG STORES404RETAIL
48TRUEBLUE 403SERVICES
49STARBUCKS402RETAIL
50PIERCE COUNTY SECURITY380SECURITY SERVICES
51LOWE'S377RETAIL
52GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS 368FOOD PROCESSING
53AIM AEROSPACE 365AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING
54BRADKEN 353MANUFACTURING
55MANKE LUMBER COMPANY INC. 345MANUFACTURING
56COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE334HEALTHCARE
57INTEL CORPORATION***310SOFTWARE
58INTERSTATE DISTRIBUTOR COMPANY*309TRANSPORTATION
59JP MORGAN CHASE* 300BANKING
60KEYBANK290BANKING
61TACOMA LUTHERAN HOME & RETIREMENT 282SENIOR SERVICES
62PUYALLUP, CITY OF277GOVERNMENT
63US FOOD SERVICE277FOOD DISTRIBUTION
64CENTURYLINK275COMMUNICATIONS
65CENTRAL PIERCE FIRE & RESCUE 271GOVERNMENT
66MILES SAND & GRAVEL270MINING
67NORTHWEST CASCADE270SERVICES
68MANORCARE HEALTH SERVICES 268REHABILITATION SERVICES
69LIFE CARE CENTERS OF AMERICA*260SENIOR SERVICES
70PIERCE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM258GOVERNMENT
71WELLS FARGO252BANKING
72CONTINUANT250COMMUNICATIONS
73MISSION FOODS250FOOD PROCESSING
74GENSCO INC.249WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTION OF HVAC
75PACIFIC CREST INDUSTRIES 247MANUFACTURING
76GREATER LAKES MENTAL HEALTHCARE246MENTAL HEALTHCARE SERVICES
77CENTERFORCE 245DISABILITY REHABILITATION SERVICES
78NORDSTROM'S244RETAIL
79PORT OF TACOMA240GOVERNMENT
80PUGET SOUND ENERGY235.75UTILITY SERVICES
81ASSOCIATED PETROLEUM233DISTRIBUTION
82OLYMPIC EAGLE DISTRIBUTING 229ALCOHOL DISTRIBUTION
83THE NEWS TRIBUNE228MEDIA
84TITUS-WILL FORD TOYOTA SCION228RETAIL
85LAKEWOOD, CITY OF226GOVERNMENT
86AUTO WAREHOUSING*220DISTRIBUTION
87SOUTHERN WINE AND SPIRITS*218ALCOHOL DISTRIBUTION
88BROWN & HALEY215FOOD PROCESSING
89U.S. BANK207BANKING
90KOREAN WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION206NONPROFIT
91QUALITY FOOD CENTERS, INC. (QFC)*204RETAIL
92WEST PIERCE FIRE & RESCUE203GOVERNMENT
93SOUNDCARE, INC. 202INSURANCE
94WESTERN INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (WIRB)202RESEARCH SERVICES
95HOTEL MURANO 200HOTEL
96SUPERVALU200RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
97WILCOX FAMILY FARM*200FOOD PROCESSING
98HARBORSTONE CREDIT UNION195BANKING
99U.S. OIL & REFINING190DISTRIBUTION
100CONCRETE TECHNOLOGY CORP188MANUFACTURING
101DAMERON PROPERTY MANAGEMENT186SERVICES
102GENERAL PLASTICS MANUFACTURING CO.185AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING
103CADENCE AEROSPACE - PMW OPERATIONS184AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING
104COCA-COLA BOTTLING GROUP of WA 184BEVERAGE DISTRIBUTION
105LIFE CENTER aka FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD*184RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION
106NORTHWEST DOOR183MANUFACTURING
107SOUND FAMILY MEDICINE 182HEALTHCARE
108MCFARLAND CASCADE*181MANUFACTURING
109BARGREEN ELLINGSON177WHOLESALE
110CASCADE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL177EDUCATION
111SIMPSON INVESTMENT COMPANY 174MANUFACTURING
112WESTMARK PRODUCTS174MANUFACTURING
113METAGENICS170MANUFACTURING
114GREAT AMERICAN CASINO165GAMING
115SOUND CREDIT UNION164.5BANKING
116NORTHWEST MEDICAL SPECIALTIES163.57HEALTHCARE
117ADOLFSON & PETERSON 162CONSTRUCTION
118SHINING OCEAN*162FOOD PROCESSING
119ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOL160EDUCATION
120BNY MELLON160BANKING
121COORDINATED CARE CORP160INSURANCE
122UNITED PARCEL SERVICE (UPS)160TRANSPORTATION
123MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK*159RECREATION GOVERNMENT
124COMPREHENSIVE LIFE RESOURCES 158BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES
125SEARS ROEBUCK AND CO.*158RETAIL
126KORUM MOTORS156RETAIL
127ORCHARD PARK HEALTH CARE CENTER155SENIOR SERVICES
128HOLLANDER INVESTMENTS, INC. 154HOTEL DEVELOPMENT
129VALLEY FREIGHTLINER 153TRANSPORTATION
130GOLDEN STATE FOODS151FOOD PROCESSING
131TUCCI & SONS150CONSTRUCTION
132VALDO'S CATERING150FOOD SERVICE
133TOYSMITH.148DISTRIBUTION
134A A ASPHALTING142CONSTRUCTION
135FIFE, CITY OF142GOVERNMENT
136UMPQUA BANK141BANKING
137BURLINGTON NORTHERN RAILROAD140TRANSPORTATION
138COMMENCEMENT BAY CORRUGATED140MANUFACTURING
139GRANT & WEBER (in Puyallup) New for 2014140SERVICES
140HEARTWOOD EXTENDED HEALTHCARE140SENIOR SERVICES
141CARLILE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS 139TRANSPORTATION & DISTRIBUTION
142CINTAS138UNIFORMS
143MILES RESOURCES 137CONSTRUCTION
144PEXCO 137MANUFACTURING
145ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION135CONSTRUCTION
146AMERICA'S CREDIT UNION134BANKING
147CARLISLE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS133CONSTRUCTION
148CHARLES WRIGHT ACADEMY133EDUCATION
149JESSE ENGINEERING133MANUFACTURING & ENGINEERING
150BJ'S BINGO130GAMING
151REGENCY PACIFIC130SENIOR SERVICES
152SMITH FIRE SYSTEMS 128SECURITY SERVICES
153EAST PIERCE FIRE & RESCUE127GOVERNMENT
154GLOBE MACHINE MANUFACTURING127MANUFACTURING
155NARROWS GLEN 127SENIOR SERVICES
156BEST BUY*125RETAIL
157BUFFELEN WOODWORKING COMPANY125MANUFACTURING
158PABCO ROOFING PRODUCTS Pioneer Roofing125WHOLESALE
159PATRIOT FIRE PROTECTION125SECURITY SERVICES
160RAINIER REHAB125REHABILITATION SERVICES
161THE TRUSS COMPANY125MANUFACTURING
162ALLIANCE ONE123.5COLLECTIONS
163PEPSI BOTTLING GROUP*123BEVERAGE DISTRIBUTION
164BURKHART DENTAL SUPPLY122DISTRIBUTION
165PRINT NW122PRINTING
166BELLARMINE PREPARATORY SCHOOL121EDUCATION
167ARTBEADS.COM120ONLINE RETAIL
168FEDEX FREIGHT 120TRANSPORTATION
169KEMPER SPORTS120SERVICES
170LINDEN GROVE CARE CENTER*120HEALTHCARE
171TACOMA HOUSING AUTHORITY120GOVERNMENT
172WEATHERLY INN, THE118SENIOR SERVICES
173GENERAL MECHANICAL INC.117HVAC DISTRIBUTION
174HERITAGE BANK113BANKING
175CARDIAC STUDY CENTER*112HEALTHCARE
176SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INC.112RECYCLING
177METROPOLITAN DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL*111NONPROFIT
178CARL T. MADSEN INC*110ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR
179CASCADE PARK COMMUNITIES110SENIOR CARE, MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
180FASTENAL COMPANY110RETAIL DISTRIBUTION
181GEORGIA PACIFIC GYPSUM LLC110MANUFACTURING
182INVESTCO FINANCIAL CORPORATION110DEVELOPMENT
183TACTICAL TAILOR110SERVICES
184TOYOTA OF PUYALLUP108RETAIL
185NORTHWEST PROTECTIVE107SECURITY SERVICES
186PRO-BUILD106RETAIL
187TOOL GAUGE & PLASTIC MOLDED PRODUCTS 106AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING
188LAKEWOOD FORD105RETAIL
189PROPEL INSURANCE 105INSURANCE
190SUPERIOR LINEN SERVICES105SERVICES
191AMERICAN FAST FREIGHT104TRANSPORTATION
192FIRST GROUP104TRANSIT
193FRANKE TOBEY JONES RETIREMENT104SENIOR SERVICES
194TACOMA SCREW PRODUCTS104DISTRIBUTION
195JAMES HARDIE BUILDING PRODUCTS103MANUFACTURING
196BELINA INTERIORS, INC102MANUFACTURING
197TACOMA CABINET & FIXTURE CO102MANUFACTURING
198IKEA (Distribution Warehouse in Frederickson)101DISTRIBUTION
199LUCKS FOOD DECORATING COMPANY101FOOD PROCESSING
200CHIP'S CASINO LAKEWOOD 100GAMING
201CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, INC.100RECREATION
202SUMNER, CITY OF100GOVERNMENT
203TACOMA ROOFING & WATERPROOFING100CONSTRUCTION