A great study- Economic Impacts of the Refineries in Skagit County by Western Washington University’s Center for Economic and Business Research February 13, 2015

A must read study- commissioned by the Whatcom Business Alliance!

Employment at Cherry Point October 2014 By Dr. Hart Hodges, Western Washington University and Dr. Bill Beyers, University of Washington

Don’t have time to read the whole study right now? No Problem- here is a summary of key points made:

  • There are over 7,000 employers in Whatcom County (WA Dept. of Employment Security data); 11 Cherry Point businesses (which represent less than 1% of total employers) employ an estimated 2,200 people.
  • The 2,200 jobs at Cherry Point support directly and indirectly 9,000 jobs in the County.
    • By comparison, the 2,700 jobs in the Peace Health system support directly and indirectly 5,800 jobs.
    • In 2013, there were roughly 84,0001 jobs in Whatcom County; Cherry Point area businesses have 2.5% of the jobs in the County, and support directly and indirectly roughly 11% of the jobs in the County.
  • Most of the jobs in the Cherry Point industrial area have an employment multiplier greater than 3. This means that, on average, for every one job created (or lost) at Cherry Point, another two are supported (or lost) in the County.  (The precise multipliers vary by industry type.)
    • By comparison, each new retail sector job supports less than one additional job in the economy, and each new hospital job supports 1.16 jobs.
    • The refineries have a 5.39 employment multiplier- if you add (or lose) 50 refinery jobs, the total impact is the addition (or loss) of 270 jobs in the county.
  • Cherry Point industrial area jobs pay an average of $114,000 per year, almost three times the average County wage of $41,334 (WA Dept. of Employment Security data).
  • Cherry Point accounts for 9% of the wages paid in the county, but supports directly and indirectly 15% of the wages paid.
  • Over $200 million in taxes each year are paid out by the Cherry Point industries.
  • BP, Phillips and Intalco alone pay more than $14.7 million in just property taxes each year-4% of the total property taxes collected in Whatcom County. Of the property taxes paid:
    • 21% is for the Blaine School District
    • 15% is for the Ferndale School District
    • 11% is for Whatcom County Roads
  • Businesses in Cherry Point area make more than $1 million in charitable contributions each year.
  • The Whatcom County United Way estimates that the Cherry Point area businesses contribute over $700,000 per year and account for at least one-third of the United Way’s annual revenues.