The Emerald City of Washington, United States – the one with the motto of becoming The City of Flowers. Known as Queen City and then as Emerald City thanks to its gorgeous greeneries, the city has other names too: Rain City and Jet City. This seaport city on the west coast of the US is a land of dreams and home to a population of more than 6 lakhs. This is why this 83.9 square miles of land remains in the top 5 of the fastest growing race in the US, while being the fourth largest port in North America. Historically as well as commercially rich with focus on shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing and technology, Seattle is a destination for many.
Seattle is globally known for its diverse and well balanced industries, particularly innovative industries of the future. With a mixture of both traditional industrial companies as well as modern technological firms, the city has managed to attain a healthy balance. A number of the leading global brands commenced their success stories from this very region. The city proudly presents its aerospace industry which is one of the biggest in the world – credit goes to the Boeing Commercial Airplanes with its first headquarters in Seattle. With more than 800 aerospace companies, the city doesn’t just stop there. It is also a hub of information and communication technology – home to renowned brands such as Amazon, Microsoft and more than 3000 firms in the same industry. With a larger portion of its economy based on nonmanufacturing activities, the city focuses on biotechnology, computer software, electronics and environment engineering. The city continues to be an immensely popular hotspot for start-up businesses, particularly pertinent to green businesses. It aims to be North America’s very first climate neutral city by acquiring zero net per capita greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030. Claiming to be a global leader in data visualization and cloud computing, Seattle also has the biggest hydro-electric system and world class processes geared towards health and energy efficiency. The city’s economy also concentrates on manufacturing of transportation machinery and food processing products. With heavy domestic coffee consumption, it’s not surprising that Seattle is home to many well-known coffee companies, including the headquarters of Starbucks and Tully’s. One of the biggest container handlers in US, the Port of Seattle, plays the role of an extremely significant gateway link in trade with markets in Asia and Alaska. With accommodation capacities of ships up to 1400 feet, this port is spacious indeed. The benefits of having intricate transportation network with airport, ferry, rail and port facilities allow Seattle to prosper in distribution, trade and tourism. Aerospace, agriculture, forestry, healthcare, education, ICT, clean technology, logistics, research, tourism – the city thrives in all.
With an economy so diverse and balanced, Seattle continues to be a lucrative market of jobs for various skilled people. United States has only 3 other cities with a more dynamic job market compared to Seattle. Research study based on different markets discovered Seattle to add more than 78 thousand jobs in 2015 with around half of those going beyond the anticipated job growth. With a vigorous job market, Seattle is only behind Dallas, San Jose and Los Angeles in the race of US job market. However, it has still managed to employ almost 2 million people within a year alone, dropping the unemployment rate to 4.2 percent. This rate is lower than the national unemployment rate. Another study found that domestic startups and rapidly expanding companies are a better way to create jobs compared to curtailing taxes or emphasizing more on company recruitment policies. With jobs open in technological spheres such as Amazon and Zillow as well as in sectors like health care, shipping and biotech, many however do come from other areas in the search of a better professional life. With the introduction of the minimum hourly wage to be $15, making the average salary in Seattle to be higher than the national average, many shift to this city with expectations quite high. In most cases, unearthing and retaining skilled employees can turn out to be rather difficult with a restricted pool of qualified and experienced candidates. However, this is changing in Seattle. Jobs are filling up much faster than before with more and more skilled people applying for the vacant positions.
The technological industry of the city has opened its door of a plethora of jobs and talented candidates are embracing the positions. The waiting time between employers and job seekers are decreasing day by day in Seattle as it is becoming easier for companies to hire the talent they are looking for. With the companies expanding rapidly, the positions are multiplying day by day as well, with more opportunities for the interested and qualified people. The top companies and the largest employers of Seattle are global brands such as Boeing with around 80 thousand employees in Seattle alone, Joint Base Lewis-McChord with more than 55 thousand employees, Microsoft with around 42 thousand employees, University of Washington with around 25 thousand employees in its largest campus in Seattle, Amazon with around 22 thousand employees, Providence Health & Services and Walmart with around 20 thousand employees each.
Seattle is home to a number of renowned colleges and universities, including the University of Washington, Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University. The University of Washington is known as UW or U Dub as well. It has become a leading public research university – one of the oldest on the West side. It has 3 campuses – the biggest one in the university district of Seattle. The university has more than 500 buildings with more than 20 million square footage of space and more than 26 libraries. The university has acquired a position in the top 20 of the world’s top 500 universities by ARWU and 25th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The acceptance rate of UW is around 53 percent while total enrollment was around 46 thousand (2015). Another top university is Seattle University. It is a Jesuit Catholic University – the biggest independent university in Northwest United States. It has been ranked as the 5th best regional university according to the US News & World Report. It has the leading legal writing program in the US for 6 consecutive years. The acceptance rate of Seattle University is 73 percent and total enrollment was around 7.5 thousand. Seattle Pacific University is another top university of the city – a liberal arts university. This private university has an acceptance rate of around 83 percent and total enrollment was around 4 thousand. There are a lot more schools, colleges and universities that are producing brilliant minds in Seattle, allowing them to fill the vacant positions offered by the continuously growing companies in different sectors.
Seattle’s living cost is 24 percent higher compared to the US average. The cost of living in this city is quite costly due to its high cost of housing which can reach more than 1 thousand dollars for the monthly rent of an apartment with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Buying a new home can turn out to be even more expensive, costing more than 3 lakh dollars for just 1800 square feet. Housing cost in this city is more than 50 percent higher than that of the national average. In simpler words, it can be quite detrimental to a wallet that is yet to acquire a job that pays more than the cost of living in Seattle. And there’s a valid reason for the city to constantly become more and more expensive. With more and more people seeking to shift to Seattle in search for a better jobs or lifestyle, the city was bound to become costlier as a place. If the prices continue increasing at 20 percent rate every 5 years, the average cost of a house might go beyond 1 million dollar in the following 25 years.
The city surely has a housing market as hot as its rapidly growing job market. While the other areas of the living cost aren’t as hot, they aren’t cool either. The cost of dining at a typical Seattle restaurant is around 30 percent higher than the national average while the groceries are as high as 11 percent compared to national average. Transportation cost in this city can also be relatively high given that it only provides a light rail system for a restricted part of the city and most people have to rely on a car or bus whose ticket can range from $2.5 to $3.25 based on time and distance. With costly gasoline price, 10 percent higher than national average price, driving around in cars can be quite a ride for the pocket. However, the energy costs are quite low in Seattle, with extremely low electricity cost. And finally, there is no income tax in Seattle. Thus, all of the income can be enjoyed without having to worry about any income tax issues.
So how would one enjoy in this beautiful Emerald City? The most talked about attraction of this city is the market that is open throughout the year – the Pike Place Market – full of delicious and fresh fruits and vegetables along with beautiful flower bouquets as well as unique jewelry and other sorts of items, both decorative and consumable. With a number of eateries available, one can simply rush in and have a bit of everything or just take lovely little tours around. The city has a museum too to showcase its collection along with traveling exhibits – the Seattle Art Museum. The museum consists of masterpieces from various areas, even from Europe and Asia. Olympic Sculpture Park is a great place to spend some quiet time too with native plants and salmon habitat as well as meadows and bicycle paths to ride on.
More quiet but knowledge gaining time can be attained via Seattle Central Public Library which is an architectural beauty of a kind – made of around 10 thousand glass panes and over 4 thousand tons of steel. For people who are more into Asian cultures, they can peek into Chinatown of Seattle, filled with authentic eateries and shopping arenas. This is undoubtedly the perfect spot to sip in a blend of flavorful mixed culture.
To gaze into the first neighborhood or historic district of this city, a walk through the Pioneer Square will be more than enough. After all, it’s known as Seattle’s birthplace. For sports fan, Seattle boasts its professional stadiums, including the CenturyLink Field for football fans, NFL lovers, and MLS supporters.
For an outstanding view of Seattle, one can climb up the Smith Tower, standing tall for more than a century. To get a scenic view involving water, there’s Lake Union, Seattle Waterfront and Washington State Ferries which is the biggest in the country, able to carry around 23 million people every year. The Seattle Aquarium provides a great water view as well with a 1.2 million gallon aquarium with many marine species inside. For people seeking a futuristic or jaw dropping experience, Seattle Center Monorail is the place to go to get the most amazing 2 minutes of their lives. The same can be said for Space Needle as well which has a height of 605 feet and remarkable 360 degree views.
A meet up with some of the unique beings of this planet can be arranged via Woodland Park Zoo – be it a wallaroo, chuckwalla or even a sloth bear. For a more musical experience, one can hop into Museum of Pop Culture or Pacific Northwest Ballet. After all, Seattle does have a rich musical history. The home of grunge music, this city can boast of artists such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, and a lot more. Not only that, a number of melodious songs has also been written about this mesmerizing city. Who wouldn’t want to sing about this city of pure diversity and joy? Who wouldn’t want to live in this Emerald City of revolving restaurants, lucrative job market, floating bridges, booming economy, rich diverse history and a promising future?