Port Economic Impact
Whatcom County's Economic Engine
Passenger movement and airline services at Bellingham International Airport, business activity in real estate on port property and maritime activities all contribute to the local economy, providing jobs, wages and business revenue within Whatcom County.
In 2013 the Port of Bellingham commissioned Martin Associates to evaluate the economic impacts generated by the port's operating divisions: real estate, aviation and maritime. This is an update of a similar report by Martin completed in 2008. View the full report.
The Port of Bellingham's contributions to Whatcom County's economy include:
- 8,780 total jobs*
- $42,120 average wage for direct job holder. This is $1,420 above the Whatcom County average
- $406.3 million in total payroll
- $1.4 billion in business revenue
- $37.7 million in state/local taxes
- Visitors at the airport spent $70.3 million, supporting 520 direct jobs
- 11% of the local economy in jobs (80,400 county jobs reported in 2012)
*total jobs include direct employers on
port property, jobs produced by wage expenditures by these direct employees,
and jobs created when port businesses make local purchases with suppliers.
From 2008 to 2013
- Total business revenue up $500 million
- Total jobs grew 1,409
- 150% increase in airport passenger activity, and new real estate development driving jobs
- State and local taxes grew $7.9 million
- Visitors using the airport spending more per day and staying longer
- Total visitor spending by BLI visitors up $49.1 million - over 230% increase
In direct employment the impact of Port of Bellingham operations exceed the largest employers in Whatcom County.
Number of Direct Jobs
|Port of Bellingham
|St. Joseph's Hospital / Peace Health
|Western Washington University (excluding student workers)