Major Employer Trends and Highlights for 2013

Employment levels continued to trend down this year for local and state governments, for local public schools and for public institutions of higher education. The one significant exception was the University of Washington Tacoma where employment grew more than 11% from 463 to 517, running roughly parallel to increases in student enrollment.

In general, employment growth among Pierce County’s 177 largest employers reflects a broad and general upturn in local economic conditions, consistent with the slow and steady end of a recession.

Largest Employers

The United States Military remains the County’s largest employer with 63,500 employees. MultiCare Health System and Franciscan Health System remained the two largest private employers with 6,776 employees and 5,814 employees, respectively. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians has 3,053 employees, including 2,070 employees of the Emerald Queen Casino.

Aerospace

Among Pierce County’s aerospace manufacturing companies, Boeing is the largest employer and recorded 6% growth in employment, from 1,700 to 1,802. Five out of the County’s six largest aerospace employers grew this year with employment levels increasing from 3% to nearly 19%. Included in these numbers are Toray Composites, Precision Machine Works, General Plastics, and Globe Machine. Toray Composites was fastest growing with employment increasing at the company’s Frederickson facility from 382 to 453 employees.

Health Care

The local healthcare industry remained strong in 2013 with Group Health growing by the largest percentage, 20%, from 620 to 744 employees, while MultiCare, which is far larger (in Pierce County), grew 3.5% from 6,547 to 6,776 employees.  And Franciscan Health System saw a 1.8% increase from 5,709 to 5,814.

Construction

Several firms in Pierce County’s construction industry are growing led by Absher Construction, which increased employment from 114 to 170 employees, a growth of 49%. Others that have grown for 2013 include Active Construction, Buffelen Woodworking, and Tacoma Cabinet & Fixture.

Other Manufacturing

Sixteen other large manufacturing firms are included in the 2013 list, representing products as diverse as windows and candy bars, building materials and cake decorations, coffee and soft drinks. Ten of the companies grew in employment this year, two held steady and only four declined.  Taken together, the balance of large manufacturing firms grew in employment from 3,016 in 2012 to 3,254 in 2013—a total of 238 jobs for a growth rate of 7.9%

RankOrganization FTEsSector
1US JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD 63501MILITARY
2LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS13133EDUCATION
3MULTICARE HEALTH SYSTEM 6776HEALTHCARE
4WASHINGTON STATE 6209GOVERNMENT
5FRANCISCAN HEALTH SYSTEM5813.71HEALTHCARE
6PIERCE COUNTY GOVERNMENT2873GOVERNMENT
7FRED MEYER STORES 2328RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
8WASHINGTON STATE HIGHER EDUCATION 2196EDUCATION
9TACOMA, CITY OF 2125GOVERNMENT
10Wal-Mart 2102RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
11EMERALD QUEEN CASINO2070GAMING
12BOEING COMPANY, THE 1802MANUFACTURING
13SAFEWAY STORES, INC. 1616RETAIL
14TACOMA PUBLIC UTILITIES 1341UTILITY
15US POSTAL SERVICE1253GOVERNMENT
16COSTCO1181RETAIL
17STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANIES1060INSURANCE
18COMCAST CABLE1046MEDIA
19PUYALLUP TRIBE [not including gaming] 983GOVERNMENT
20LONGSHORE LABOR UNION947UNION
21INTEL CORPORATION900SOFTWARE
22PIERCE TRANSIT804TRANSIT
23GROUP HEALTH COOPERATIVE744HEALTHCARE
24MILGARD MANUFACTURING, INC. 729MANUFACTURING
25YMCA OF TACOMA-PIERCE COUNTY693FITNESS
26PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY 692EDUCATION
27HOME DEPOT692RETAIL
28TACOMA GOODWILL INDUSTRIES677NONPROFIT
29UNIVERSITY OF PUGET SOUND 671EDUCATION
30RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT, INC. (REI) 670RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
31GORDON TRUCKING INC.668TRANSPORTATION
32DAVITA604HEALTHCARE
33SIMPSON INVESTMENT COMPANY604MANUFACTURING
34COLUMBIA BANK562BANKING
35REGENCE BLUESHIELD 553INSURANCE
36WASTE CONNECTIONS496SERVICES
37TRUEBLUE 491SERVICES
38ROBERT LARSON AUTOMOTIVE GROUP483RETAIL
39O'REILLY AUTOPARTS 475RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
40J.C. PENNEY CO., INC 462RETAIL
41TORAY COMPOSITES (AMERICA), INC.453MANUFACTURING
42METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT451GOVERNMENT
43WALGREENS DRUG STORES445RETAIL
44ALBERTSON'S LLC INC.440RETAIL
45BRADKEN 440MANUFACTURING
46LOWE'S 437RETAIL
47CATHOLIC COMMUNITY SERVICES425NONPROFIT
48MANKE LUMBER COMPANY INC. 425MANUFACTURING
49KEYBANK411BANKING
50STARBUCKS COFFEE COMPANY409RETAIL
51REGENCY PACIFIC 400HEALTHCARE
52PIERCE COUNTY SECURITY 379SERVICES
53GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS 368MANUFACTURING
54MCLANE NORTHWEST355TRANSPORTATION
55AIM AEROSPACE 350MANUFACTURING
56POTELCO 350UTILITY SERVICES
57INTERSTATE DISTRIBUTOR COMPANY309TRANSPORTATION
58JP MORGAN CHASE 300BANKING
59NORDSTROM 288RETAIL
60TACOMA LUTHERAN HOME 287SERVICES
61WELLS FARGO 286BANKING
62COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE 284HEALTHCARE
63CENTURYLINK 275COMMUNICATIONS
64PUYALLUP, CITY OF271GOVERNMENT
65MILES SAND & GRAVEL 270MINING
66CASCADE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 263EDUCATION
67BROWN & HALEY262CANDY
68MANORCARE HEALTH SERVICES 260HEALTHCARE
69LIFE CARE CENTERS OF AMERICA260HEALTHCARE
70SUPERVALU257DISTRIBUTION
71PIERCE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM256GOVERNMENT
72CONTINUANT250COMMUNICATIONS
73PORT OF TACOMA 246TRANSPORTATION
74THE NEWS TRIBUNE243MEDIA
75LAKEWOOD, CITY OF241GOVERNMENT
76PUGET SOUND ENERGY238UTILITY
77GREATER LAKES MENTAL HEALTHCARE238HEALTHCARE
78HARBORSTONE CREDIT UNION 233BANKING
79MISSION FOODS 231FOOD PROCESSING
80TITUS-WILL FORD TOYOTA SCION 226RETAIL
81NORTHWEST CASCADE 220CONSTRUCTION
82AUTO WAREHOUSING COMPANY220DISTRIBUTION
83GENSCO INC. 217DISTRIBUTION
84ABM JANITORIAL SERVICES 217SERVICES
85METAGENICS215MANUFACTURING
86OLYMPIC EAGLE DISTRIBUTING 214DISTRIBUTION
87BNSF210TRANSPORTATION
88NORTHWEST DOOR210MANUFACTURING
89SOUNDCARE, INC. 209HEALTHCARE
90SOUTHERN WINE AND SPIRITS208DISTRIBUTION
91U.S. BANK206BANKING
92KINDRED HEALTHCARE 202HEALTHCARE
93WILCOX FAMILY FARM200AGRICULTURE
94PRECISION MACHINE WORKS INC.200MANUFACTURING
95ASSOCIATED PETROLEUM198DISTRIBUTION
96U.S. OIL & REFINING189DISTRIBUTION
97CONCRETE TECHNOLOGY CORP185MANUFACTURING
98HOTEL MURANO 185HOTEL SERVICES
99ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION 185CONSTRUCTION
100LIFE CENTER 184EDUCATION
101PACIFIC CREST INDUSTRIES 182MANUFACTURING
102MCFARLAND CASCADE181MANUFACTURING
103COCA COLA180DISTRIBUTION
104NORTHWEST MEDICAL SPECIALTIES 180HEALTHCARE
105BJ'S BINGO175GAMING
106BARGREEN ELLINGSON172WHOLESALE
107COMPREHENSIVE LIFE RESOURCES171HEALTHCARE
108ABSHER CONSTRUCTION CO.170CONSTRUCTION
109BNY Mellon 170BANKING
110GENERAL PLASTICS MANUFACTURING CO.170MANUFACTURING
111AVAMERE HEALTH SERVICES 169HEALTHCARE
112MILES RESOURCES 168MINING & CONSTRUCTION
113HAGGEN/TOP FOOD & DRUG 164RETAIL
114WESTMARK PRODUCTS162MANUFACTURING
115SHINING OCEAN 162FOOD PROCESSING
116ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOL160EDUCATION
117KORUM MOTORS160RETAIL
118SOUND CREDIT UNION 160BANKING
119MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK159GOVERNMENT
120SEARS ROEBUCK AND CO. 158RETAIL
121GOLDEN STATE FOODS153FOOD PROCESSING
122SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INC.150RECYCLING
123TUCCI & SONS150CONSTRUCTION
124HOLLANDER INVESTMENTS, INC. 150HOTEL SERVICES
125TOYSMITH 148DISTRIBUTION
126MARINE VIEW BEVERAGE145DISTRIBUTION
127ALLIANCE ONE138SERVICES
128FIFE, CITY OF138GOVERNMENT
129THE TRUSS COMPANY138MANUFACTURING
130A A Asphalting 138CONSTRUCTION
131HEARTWOOD EXTENDED HEALTHCARE137HEALTHCARE
132CARLILE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS 136TRANSPORTATION
133AMERICA'S CREDIT UNION 135BANKING
134CARLISLE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS 135MANUFACTURING
135FEDEX FREIGHT 133TRANSPORTATION
136COMMENCEMENT BAY CORRUGATED130MANUFACTURING
137INVESTCO FINANCIAL CORPORATION 130DEVELOPMENT
138CHARLES WRIGHT ACADEMY 130EDUCATION
139JESSE ENGINEERING130MANUFACTURING
140GLOBE MACHINE MANUFACTURING129MANUFACTURING
141RENAISSANCE AT NARROWS GLEN 128HEALTHCARE
142BURKHART DENTAL SUPPLY127MANUFACTURING
143CINTAS126SERVICES
144BEST BUY 125RETAIL
145PABCO ROOFING PRODUCTS Pioneer Roofing125MANUFACTURING
146QUALITY FOOD CENTERS, INC. (QFC)124RETAIL
147THE PEPSI BOTTLING GROUP 123DISTRIBUTION
148BELLARMINE PREPARATORY SCHOOL 122EDUCATION
149THE WEATHERLY INN 122HEALTHCARE
150LINDEN GROVE CARE CENTER120HEALTHCARE
151GENERAL MECHANICAL INC.120MANUFACTURING
152GREAT AMERICAN CASINO 119GAMING
153PARAMETRIX118ENGINEERING
154SMITH FIRE SYSTEMS 116SERVICES
155BUFFELEN WOODWORKING COMPANY115MANUFACTURING
156HERITAGE BANK 113BANKING
157PATRIOT FIRE PROTECTION112SERVICES
158CARDIAC STUDY CENTER 112HEALTHCARE
159METROPOLITAN DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL 111NONPROFIT
160UMPQUA BANK 111BANKING
161CARL T. MADSEN INC. (formerly MADSEN ELECTRIC)110SERVICES
162PROLOGIX DISTRIBUTION SERVICES110DISTRIBUTION
163THE ODOM CORPORATION 110DISTRIBUTION
164PRINT NW 110PRINTING
165PROPEL INSURANCE 108INSURANCE
166TOYOTA OF PUYALLUP 105RETAIL
167SUPERIOR LINEN SERVICES105SERVICES
168GEORGIA PACIFIC GYPSUM LLC 105MANUFACTURING
169IDX SEATTLE104MANUFACTURING
170TACOMA SCREW PRODUCTS 102DISTRIBUTION
171TACOMA CABINET & FIXTURE CO 102MANUFACTURING
172LYNDEN TRANSPORT100TRANSPORTATION
173JAMES HARDIE BUILDING PRODUCTS100MANUFACTURING
174LUCKS FOOD DECORATING COMPANY 100MANUFACTURING
175AMERICOLD 100SERVICES
176COORDINATED CARE 100HEALTHCARE
total160117.71