New Poll: Seattle Residents Confident About Current Job Situation, See Brighter Days Ahead 

SEATTLE, Oct. 27, 2011 – According to a survey by public relations firm Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, the majority of Seattle working residents feel at least somewhat secure with their current job situation and only a handful report constant concern about losing a job or business. In terms of financial health, hope is on the horizon. Few residents say they are in better shape financially compared to last year, but many are increasingly optimistic about their financial situation looking toward next year and even more so five years from now. Residents pinpoint the health care and technology industries as having the most potential for growth over the next five to ten years.

Weber Shandwick Names Gail Heimann President, Chief Strategy Officer; Frank Okunak, Chief Operating Officer

Weber Shandwick’s second annual ‘State of Seattle’ survey conducted online interviews with 500 local residents to determine their perceptions of Seattle on a number of topics, including outlook, business and economic climate, industries and associations with the city. In addition, a separate national telephone survey was conducted to find out how other Americans view Seattle’s future. Below are some of the key findings:


  • Among working locals, 83 percent feel at least somewhat secure about their current job situation, 66 percent say they will be in better financial shape in five years.
  • Technology (55 percent), followed by health care (19 percent) and sustainability (11 percent), are the industries that were most mentioned by residents as having the greatest growth potential.
  • Technology (30 percent) tops the list of industries Seattle residents want to work in, followed by entertainment (18 percent), non-profit (18 percent) and health care (15 percent).
  • Starbucks (93 percent), Microsoft (92 percent) and Boeing (89 percent) continue to top the list of organizations associated with Seattle. Amazon (76 percent), Costco (66 percent) and Expedia (29 percent) saw gains from last year’s survey.
  • According to locals, Seattle rates excellent or good for its cultural scene (86 percent), trying new foods and restaurants (85 percent) and access to quality health care (77 percent).


Bright Future


  • Nearly half of residents (45 percent) believe Seattle’s best days are yet to come.
  • A majority of locals (74 percent) believe Seattle will make a significant impact in the U.S. in terms of culture, sports, technological advancements and the economy in the next 50 years; half of Americans (48 percent) feel the same way.
  • In the next 50 years, 34 percent of residents think the Space Needle will remain the city’s iconic landmark.
  • In the next 50 years, residents believe light rail (27 percent) and a revitalized waterfront (24 percent) will signify Seattle’s future, and 63 percent think technology will remain Seattle’s best known industry.
Our second annual survey underscores the positive spirit and resiliency residents have about the future of Seattle even in challenging economic times. Innovations in technology and advancements in health care will create exciting opportunities and shape the next chapter of Seattle’s story.

Tim Fry

General manager of Weber Shandwick Seattle

More findings from the Weber Shandwick and KRC Research ‘State of Seattle’ Survey include:


Local Concerns


  • Seattle residents are most concerned about transportation and the local economy. Transportation jumped to the top of the list this year with 30 percent of residents feeling it is their main concern, compared to 18 percent last year.


Fun Facts


  • Nearly seven in ten Seattleites (69 percent) find themselves checking email in the morning before doing anything else.
  • Forty-four percent turn to local television stations to get their Seattle news and information while 25 percent get their news online at local newspaper websites. Only 15 percent actually read the print edition of local newspapers.
  • Terms that over half of residents believe describe Seattle include: environmentally conscious (74 percent), casual (63 percent), open-minded (58 percent) and physically active (56 percent). This year, fewer residents believe “optimistic” (24 percent) and “honest” (19 percent) describe Seattle.
  • More than half of Seattle’s residents (55 percent) continue to believe most of America has a positive view of Seattle.


Methodology Note: Weber Shandwick partnered with KRC Research on the second annual ‘State of Seattle’ Survey. The research was conducted online between September 30 and October 6, 2011 with 500 Seattle adult residents, ages 18 and over, from the Seattle DMA.


The separate national survey, also by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, was a nationally representative study of 1,006 adults, ages 18 and over, conducted between October 13 and October 16, 2011. The survey was conducted by telephone, with a margin of error of +/-3.1% at the 95% confidence level.


To view the Weber Shandwick ‘State of Seattle’ Survey results, visit