Walla Walla Trends e-Newsletter

Issue # 29

NEWS FROM THE PORT

NEW CODING SPACE OPENS ON WHITMAN CAMPUS


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As technologies continue to innovate, software and coding could be the considered the gasoline that powers those engines, especially in Washington State. Software developers rank first in Washington State's forecast of job openings from 2020-2025 for those occupations that require a BA/BS or higher. The average annual wage in the state in 2017 was slightly greater than $130,000 for software developers and related occupations claim salaries not too far behind. Supported by a grant from the Port of Walla Walla, Whitman College has now created a Coding Space in the College Technology Service. Although a designated place for blossoming coders to work and collaborate with other coders, the space is available for students at Walla Walla Community College and Walla Walla University as well.

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Whitman's Grants and Foundation Relations director, Rachna Sinnot, stated "the Port's objectives of promoting local economic development and attracting technology companies to the Walla Walla Valley dovetail with a Whitman strategic priority-community engagement."

Computer Science bachelor's degree program at Whitman started at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year with 16 students currently in the major.


INDICATOR NEWS

YAKIMA VALLEY TRENDS, EWU'S 10TH INDICATORS PROJECT, JUST LAUNCHED

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On Monday, November 13, Eastern Washington University's Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis launched their 10th indicators site: Yakima Valley Trends.

While the data offered on Yakima Valley Trends is basically the same as found on the Walla Walla Trends site, Yakima Valley boasts of a completely new web design and format. The basic indicator and website functions of the new format will be almost identical to the old design.

Keep watching in the early part of 2018 as we will be working hard to port the new web design over to all the other Trends sites Eastern Washington University manages.

U.S. CENSUS NOW OFFERS STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE TEST -

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The American Community Survey (ACS), from the U.S. Census, provides estimates for the nation, all 50 states individually, various counties and states across the nation. These estimates include various measures of well-being, income, population, diversity, housing, age and more and help us keep track of important trends throughout different places across the U.S.

Each year as every ACS-sourced indicator on the Trends site receives an update, the numbers may show a significant change, a small change, or anything in-between. All ACS indicators are estimates based on a national survey. In prior years there was no way to tell the importance of that…

MOST U.S. OCCUPATIONS REQUIRE INCREASING DIGITAL SKILLS

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Perhaps digitalization began thousands of years ago when the Chinese first developed a binary arithmetic system as mentioned in I-Ching. By the time computers were programmed with punch cards the binary system, and henceforth digitalization of nearly everything, including how we do our jobs.

Brookings Institute has quantified "Digitalization and the American Workforce" by analyzing 545 occupations in the U.S., covering about 90% of all industries existing within the total U.S. workforce.

According to Brookings, "Digitalization is associated with increased pay and job…

INDICATORS IN ACTION

HOUSEHOLDS WITH INTERNET CONTINUING TO RISE -

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The internet was first conceived and put into practical use in 1989 by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, as a means to share information and documents between scientists, universities, and institutions around the world. At the time, computers that needed to be connected could only be used by groups of people in what was known as "time sharing." These large computers were usually located on university campuses and at large institutions like CERN and were dialed into by phone modems.

In less than 30-years, a wholesale revolution has taken place, bringing with it advances on the order of magnitude of the…

TRAVEL & TOURISM IN SPENDING CONTINUES UPWARD TREND -

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Tourism has become part of the overall economic development strategies in many communities across the U.S. Tourism attracts travelers from many different locations, domestic and international, bringing money in from outside areas, not to mention recycling dollars spent by locals within the tourism and travel service industry. This money adds to the economic base, providing revenue to local businesses and workers, as well as tax revenue to local governments.

Tourism also adds to the economic diversity of a community by spreading…


MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME BELOW BENCHMARKS -

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Median Household Income provides a fundamental snapshot of economic health within a community. The Trends' Median Household Income indicator measures income distribution by dividing the income distribution into two equal groups, one group of households earning incomes above the median value and half earning income below. Median Household Income takes into account many, but not all sources of income. For example, non-cash benefits are not counted. Two examples are food stamps and housing vouchers.

Median household income is estimated by…

HOMEOWNERS SPENDING 30%+ OF INCOME ON SHELTER DECREASING -

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The Great Recession, generally speaking, created a situation where people weren't buying or selling homes. Decreasing or stagnant home values from the popped housing bubble created situations where many homeowners simply couldn't sell their homes without losing money or some of their hard-earned equity, inspiring many sellers to wait to sell until the market rebounded. In the meantime, the economy started improving, but an improving housing market came later.

Looking at the Total and Share of Homeowners Paying 30% or More of Their Household Income for Shelter Costs