STEM concentration and job growth in metro Seattle among the nation’s strongest, but there are business climate concerns.

Geek Wire reports on Seattle’s vibrant innovation economy. 

The West Coast’stech hubs are leading the nation in the race to grow employment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

STEM jobs increased 8.2 percent in Los Angeles and 8.1 percent in Seattle from 2014 to 2018 — the fastest rates of any metropolitan areas in the U.S., according to commercial real estate firm CBRE. Overall, Seattle has added 19,090 new positions since 2014 and now counts 230,000 employees in STEM-related roles.

CBRE writes, 

Ingenuity and innovation inherent to Seattle’s economy has resulted in the metro area becoming one of the fastest growing regions in the nation. Innovation is directly related to the size and quality of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. The Seattle region has the eighth largest STEM cluster in the U.S. with 230,000 people employed in such occupations.

That’s great, of course. The Seattle Times editorial board, though, cites some reason for concern, framing the discussion by citing one of the city’s innovative businesses.

The $15.7 billion sale of Tableau Software is the latest affirmation that Seattle is a tremendous place to innovate, build companies and start careers.

Preserving this business climate, so it continues to create jobs not just for programmers but throughout the regional economy, should be a top priority of Seattle voters in the upcoming City Council election.

The editorial traces some regional attributes and recent business and political decisions, concluding,

Seattle must remain a place where companies want to grow and believe they have unlimited potential to improve the world. Their success should be celebrated, not exploited by divisive politicos, and the people they attract should be appreciated for the knowledge, diversity and prosperity they give the region. Then more of these employers are likely to remain locally based and perhaps become the next Microsoft or Amazon.

Right. The region cannot take continued prosperity for granted.