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Seattle's Got Jobs Mojo

Seattle Multifamily

When it comes to employment, Seattle’s got momentum on its side, NewTower Trust Co’s Brent Palmer tells us. Given the historical relationship of employment and space absorption in Seattle, combined with current forecasts of employment growth exceeding 45,000 jobs for 2014 and 35,000 in 2015, Seattle is poised to experience increased demand for commercial real estate (also with all these new people you'll have to get your movie tickets earlier), Brent says, citing research done by McKee & Schalka principal Ken Barnes. Brent (second from right) is snapped at the Counselors of Real Estate conference last month in Austin, along with Wilson, Cribbs & Goren’s Reid Wilson, KLM Realty Advisors Glenn Silva, and Altus Group senior EVP Rick Kalvoda.


In April, greater Seattle’s unemployment rate dropped below 5% for the first time in about six years (4.8% for Seattle-Tacoma-Belleview, if you want to be picky about it), after suffering a recent high back in ’10 of more than 10%. The last time the rate was so low was in the pre-recession 2000s. When you get unemployment that low, the momentum is there for more office leasing, higher retail sales, and a brisk rate of apartment rentals, among other positive effects, Brent notes.