Boeing has shed nearly 4,000 jobs since tax cuts
SEATTLE — A new Boeing Co. report shows that the company has slashed nearly 4,000 jobs from its Washington state workforce since the state’s Legislature approved an $8.7 billion tax break for the aerospace industry two years ago.
The company’s latest workforce report shows it eliminated another 342 Washington state jobs in November, on top of the 3,619 jobs it had cut statewide in the first two years since the tax breaks were signed into law on Nov. 3, 2013.
The total means that 3,961 Washington state residents have lost jobs at Boeing, despite legislative efforts to boost aerospace employment through massive tax cuts.
Boeing’s job cuts are having a real impact on the Washington state economy, leaders from SPEEA and Machinists Union District Lodge 751 said.
Washington aerospace workers – including mechanics, engineers and executives — earn on average $89,000 a year. Given that, the 3,961 lost jobs represent $352 million in lost wages — annually.
In addition, economists often talk about a “Boeing multiplier,” which reflects the number of jobs created in the service and retail sectors when Boeing workers spend their paychecks at local businesses.
The most-conservatively cited figure is a multiplier of 1.7, meaning that each Boeing job supports 1.7 jobs in the community. That implies the 3,961 jobs lost because Boeing moved work out of Washington will lead to job losses for 7,733 additional state residents – affecting nearly 11,700 people in total.
This is not what the Washington Legislature had in mind when it approved the nation’s largest corporate tax incentive package, leaders of the two unions said.
“What happened to ‘maintain and grow’ our aerospace workforce?” the unions asked. “Aerospace tax incentive accountability cannot wait any longer.”
Originally formed in 1935 by hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 33,000 working men and women at 52 employers across Washington and California.
The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace represents more than 25,500 engineers, technical workers, pilots and other aerospace professionals. Members work at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems and Triumph Composite Systems in Washington, Kansas, Oregon, Utah, Florida and California. Organized in 1946, SPEEA is affiliated with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers.
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