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      What to Know About Seattle, WA 

      Seattle is the thriving metropolis of the Pacific Northwest. Famous for its beautiful natural surroundings and urban center, Seattle is a prosperous mecca for business and industry, offering several opportunities for growth to companies across various sectors.

      Here is a “tour” of Seattle, WA, with a closer look at:

      About the Seattle Area & Neighborhoods

      The downtown area is known for its affluence and numerous skyscrapers, inhabited mainly by tech companies and manufacturers. Its neighborhoods give Seattle its character. In fact, some of the most popular Seattle neighborhoods include:

      • Capitol Hill: This is a popular area with wealthy families who occupy its old mansions along tree-shaded streets.
      • Chinatown: This Seattle neighborhood is a hub for foreigners and includes many international restaurants and shopping opportunities.   
      • Queen Anne: This is the site of historic homes and shops and contains several parks for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
      • The University District: Home to the University of Washington, the U District offers a mix of cafes, pubs, and theaters that are popular with college students. 

      No matter where you go in Seattle, you’re never far from the Waterfront, where container ships arrive and depart alongside bustling piers filled with popular restaurants and shops. 

      Major Industries in Seattle

      Seattle is known for its multiple tech and manufacturing companies.

      It also hosts a wide range of biomedical organizations, banks, insurance companies, and transportation businesses.

      Some of the largest employers and major companies with a significant presence in Seattle, WA, include:

      • Boeing
      • Microsoft Corporation
      • Tableau
      • Amazon
      • Starbucks
      • Alaska Airlines
      • Expedia Group
      • Costco Wholesale
      • Paccar
      • Nordstrom
      • Weyerhaeuser

      According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest employment group in Seattle is the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, and that is followed by other thriving sectors, including (but not limited to):

      • Professional and business services
      • Education
      • Health services
      • Government 

      On average, employees earn approximately $43.16 hourly in Seattle, compared with the U.S. median of $39.61. The unemployment rate is on par with the national average of 3.4%. Hiring increased in November 2020 and is growing steadily at a rate of 5%.

      In terms of recruitment, some of the most sought-after employees are those in the:

      • Tech industry: As a tech hub, Seattle is a hotbed for the recruitment of cybersecurity analysts, data scientists, web developers, and other technology-focused positions.
      • Marketing: Another top industry in Seattle, marketing agencies and other companies are regularly seeking marketing research analysts and marketing managers to boost their revenue. 

      Other popular jobs are in business administration, including human resources managers, management analysts, and project managers.

      Cost of Living in Seattle

      Seattle isn’t known for being cheap. Its cost of living index is 167.8 compared to the national average of 100. While health care and utilities are more affordable than in other cities in the U.S., housing is tremendously expensive, as the table below shows.

      Median Home Purchase Price in SeattleMedian Home Purchase Price in U.S.
      $851,000$291,000

      With that pricing in the housing market, Seattle is among the top 1% of the most expensive cities in the world, ranking just behind Los Angeles and San Diego.   

      Real Estate Trends in Seattle

      While Seattle is known for its high home prices, they have fallen slightly over the past year. Real estate professionals largely attribute the trend to the rise of interest rates and declining participation in the market by eligible buyers. 

      Most homes sell in less than three weeks, making the Seattle housing market competitive. Prospective homebuyers are wise to have their financing set before bidding on a home, as houses go quickly. 

      Some popular neighborhoods include:

      • Fremont: Great for families, Fremont has excellent public transportation options and is known for its top-rated schools.
      • Capitol Hill: Popular with university students and young professionals, Capitol Hill is a vibrant neighborhood full of music venues and nightlife options.  
      • Belltown: Well-known for its luxury condos, Belltown is close to the waterfront, making it great for summertime beach visits by locals and tourists alike.

      Individuals looking for a rental property in Seattle have plenty of options. There are hundreds of apartment complexes. Many are new builds and feature extensive amenities, including rooftop bars, pools, and fitness gyms. Townhomes and condos are also available for families who need additional space.

      Taxes in Seattle

      All residents of Seattle must pay federal taxes. However, there is no statewide income tax. Thus, a Seattle resident’s income will contain dedications only for federal income tax, including FICA taxes. 

      While Washington doesn’t have state income taxes, it does have high sales tax rates. The base sales tax rate is 6.50%, but cities and counties tack on an additional rate that makes the total sales tax much higher. 

      Most purchases in Seattle have a sales tax of 10.50%. Thus, that $5 latte at Starbucks will come to $5.75 after tax, and a $100 sweater will set you back $110.50.   

      Individuals interested in purchasing a home in Seattle will need to consider property taxes. Property taxes average about 1% of the value of a home annually. For instance, someone who owns an $800K house will pay approximately $8K in property taxes yearly.

      Culture in Seattle

      Residents living in Seattle have plenty of entertainment options to choose from, with popular attractions and world-class amenities that draw visitors far and wide. Some of the most popular attractions in Seattle include:

      • The Space Needle: Soaring a jaw-dropping 605-foot into the sky, the Space Needle in Seattle was part of the 1962 World’s Fair and is a recognizable part of the Seattle landscape today. People regularly visit the Space Needle to experience its unobstructed views of the Cascade Mountains and Mount Rainier.
      • Pike Place Market: Home to the original Starbucks store, Pike Place Market attracts local artists and farmers, who sell their goods to the public in colorful stalls and shops. Local street performers often perform at the Market to show off their skills.

      Beyond those attractions, Seattle is also a foodie’s paradise. A wealth of restaurants serve all types of delicious international cuisines, including Thai, Indian, and Chinese. One well-known restaurant is The Walrus and the Carpenter, which serves classic Washingtonian seafood dishes, including oysters and albacore tuna.

      Seattle Has a Lot to Offer

      Seattle is a beautiful city and attracts big businesses and residents alike. While it may be expensive, there is no shortage of things to do in Seattle. As a tech hub and a thriving metro, Seattle is a top choice for startups, expanding companies, and major corporations that are looking to gain more market share while growing with top executive talent.

      The top Seattle executive recruiters at Cowen Partners are proud to meet those needs, with highly specialized and focused C-suite recruitment services for any business, role, and industry.

      Discover more about what our best-rated executive search firm in Seattle, WA, can do for you and your company by exploring the resources below:

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