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Study Reveals Economic Significance of Port of Skagit

Burlington – Combined operations of the Port of Skagit’s facilities and the indirect effect of those operations supported 1,942 jobs paying a total income of $78 million in Skagit County during 2013, a new study commissioned by the port has found.

 The research revealed that the average annual wage of the 1,254 direct jobs on port properties was $42,584 per year, which is well above the Skagit County living wage for a family of two adults and two children.

The report also compared the port’s performance in supporting jobs and income to the $1.8 million in property tax it collected in 2013.

“For every tax dollar collected by the port, $43 of income was supported in Skagit County by the port and its private industry partners,” the study report stated. “For every $927 collected in taxes by the port, one job in Skagit County was supported.”

The draft results of the study, produced for the port by BST Associates of Kenmore, WA, were presented at the Sept. 9 meeting of the Port of Skagit Commissioners.

“The port makes a substantial contribution to the economy of the county,” Brian Winningham of BST Associates told the port commissioners.

BST gathered data on the direct impacts of the port starting in May, using hard-copy and online surveys of port tenants and customers plus secondary data sources such as the port’s semiannual employment census and Dun & Bradstreet information. The IMPLAN input-output analysis tool was used to determine total impacts for Skagit County and Washington state.

Breaking down the port’s operations by its lines of business, the study showed the following results for Skagit County produced by each entity:

  • Skagit Regional Airport – 168 direct, indirect, and induced jobs supporting $5.8 million in annual income;
  • La Conner Marina – 596 direct, indirect and induced jobs supporting $19.1 million in annual income;
  • Bayview Business Park and Conway Industrial Site – 1,149 direct, indirect and induced jobs supporting $52 million in annual income;
  • Port administration – 28 direct, indirect and induced jobs supporting $1.2 million in annual income.

"This report reflects what all of us at the port strive for daily: increased job opportunities and economic growth for all," said Port Commissioner Steven Omdal, president of the commission. "The value of the port to Skagit County is plain to see."

The BST report also included information on the impact of the Swinomish Channel on the local economy. The research found that direct impacts of the Swinomish Channel were 499 jobs with a combined payroll of $21 million. Direct business revenue was $86.2 million. The total impact in Skagit County was 821 jobs supporting incomes totaling 32.5 million.

If you are a reporter seeking information about the Port of Skagit, please call Andrew Entrikin, community outreach administrator, at 360-757-0011 or email andrew@portofskagit.com