¦ Amazon.com,once housed in the Art-Deco Pac Med Building atop First Hill has grown to 15,000
employees. Its new headquarters are in South Lake Union.
With the economy slogging along and claiming relatively modest growth within the financial industry, businesses in general are facing a hard time. However, many businesses and industries in Seattle still play hard and champion profits and perks that benefit the entire local economy. Major business superpowers continue to provide the backbone of the Washington state economy, with scores of jobs, security and opportunity tagging along.
With about 70,000 employees worldwide, Boeing has been a staple of the Washington state economy for decades. Even though the superpower company slashed tens of thousands of jobs since 2001, it is still the Puget Sound’s major economic engine.
Boeing is the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer for both jetliners and military aircraft. The company designs and manufactures many items including electronic and defense systems, missiles and advanced information and communication systems. Boeing is a major provider to NASA as well, and operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. With customers in more than 90 countries, Boeing is additionally one of the major U. S. exporters.
Now headquartered in Chicago --in an attempt to dodge state taxes and regulations --Boeing continues to expand product lines and services for customers’ various needs. Boeing employs more than 158,000 people across the US and in 70 different countries. More than 123,000 of the employees hold college degrees, with a near 32,000 holding advanced degrees. Workers represent approximately 2,700 colleges.
Boeing is also unique in that the company still has strong unions.
At roughly 40,000 employees, Microsoft continues to be a dynamite Puget Sound employer. As a force that initiated and expanded the Seattle tech boom, Microsoft’s economic and political prowess runs deep throughout the region.
Established on April 4, 1975, Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer system market with MS-DOS in the mid-’80s, and then conquered the market with Microsoft Windows. Along with the major creation of Microsoft Office, the company has diversified in recent years into the video game industry including Xbox and the new Kinect. Microsoft’s services also include Zune, MSN, and the Windows Phone OS. In May Microsoft acquired Skype communications.
While Microsoft was accused of monopolistic practices the ’90s, those claims have since been largely dismissed.
Microsoft’s world-wide recruiting has brought some of the world’s most talented men and women in the industry to Seattle.
With nearly 25,000 employees, the University of Washington remains a massive economic driver in the region.
The UW’s national prominence as a
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