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Microsoft’s impact amounted to 8.4% of total employment in Washington State

An economic study released today shows Microsoft’s growth is having a significant impact on the Washington state economy. “the company was directly (through employment) and indirectly (through spending by Microsoft and its workers) responsible for 8.4% of the state’s employment as of 2008, or approximately 267,600 jobs. That was up from approximately 6% in 2005, 3.5% in 2000, and less than 1% in 1990, according to study by UW economics professor Theo Eicherm, funded by Microsoft. In 1979, when Microsoft moved to Washington, it was a 30-employee, $3 million-company. In 2008, Microsoft was a 91,000-employee, $60 billion-company still headquartered in Washington, but with offices in 108 countries. The company is currently the second-largest private employer in the state, behind Boeing. “Microsoft makes money, and then spends some of it on goods and services (the company purchased $2.15 billion in goods and services from Washington producers alone in 2008). That creates additional jobs and growth. Plus, there’s then the spending of Microsoft employees as consumers.” “The economic opportunity created by that total spending can be measured by an ‘employment multiplier,’” Selby said. Microsoft’s multiplier was 4.4 in 1996, and by 2008 it had reached 6.8.


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