Whatcom County Landscape

Local Businesses in Whatcom County

Whatcom County is located in the U.S. state of Washington. It is bordered by Metro Vancouver Regional District and Fraser Valley Regional District in Canada on the north, Okanogan County on the east, Skagit County on the south, and the Salish Sea on the west.

For thousands of years, members of the tribal groups Lummi, Nooksack, Samish and Semiahmoo lived in the Whatcom district. Fur traders and traders from the Hudson's Bay Company were the first non-native residents of the area. In the 1850s, Whatcom County experienced an economic and demographic boom that was originally driven by coal mining, timber and agriculture.

The 20th century brought prosperous times with a growing national demand for abundant timber and salmon. Fish canning operations were the backbone of Whatcom County's economy. The towns of Whatcom, Sehome, Bellingham and Fairhaven combined to form Bellingham Counties. Whatcom County is currently the regional center of northwestern Washington. Bellingham is the largest city (both by population and area) in the region.

Whatcom County’s 2018 resident civilian labor force averaged 111,670, with an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

In 2018, the number of non-agricultural jobs increased compared to 2017. On average, there were 95,200 jobs. From 2017 to 2018, total employment increased by an average of 2.6 percent. Whatcom County employers estimate that 2,400 jobs were created in the year.

In 2018, the sphere of goods producers increased the number of jobs by 18 800. In 2017, it was 700 fewer.

Manufacturing employment increased by 300 jobs, bringing the average annual employment to 10,500. The four largest manufacturing industries in employment are activities related to the production of food, wood products, oil and transportation equipment.

Since 2015, employment in the construction industry has expanded significantly.

See the statistics in more detail in the infographic below.

Whatcom County Statistical Data
Whatcom County Statistical Data (download as PDF)

Learn more about Whatcom County at DataUSA website

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