Seattle Economy Still Tied To Microsoft

    October 15, 2007

You’ve probably seen more than a few “used to be” towns; they “used to be” supported by coal, steel, or some other industry, but became troubled as times changed.  Now, although things are nowhere near that bad, some onlookers are questioning Microsoft’s role in Seattle.

Seattle Economy Still Tied To Microsoft
Seattle Economy Still Tied To Microsoft

Microsoft’s market cap is currently resting around $284 billion.  Google Maps depicts its main campus as a square-kilometer block.  Such a corporation would be hard-pressed not to affect those around it, and Brier Dudley of The Seattle Times notes that Microsoft is “growing at a time when Seattle’s glad for anything that can keep its housing market from crashing like in other parts of the country.”

Also, “Microsoft really came through during the last downturn, after the dot-com bust and 9/11’s effect on Boeing.”

But without the corporation’s financial support, Seattle could be in trouble, and Dudley continues, “[T]he question I have, as we watch for darkening clouds, is whether Microsoft will have that same effect if the economy hits a truly rough patch in the future.  It no longer has the same flexibility, now that its growth is slower, its investors are more restless and its latest venture – advertising – is more cyclical.”

Tumbleweeds won’t roll through Redmond anytime soon.  Still, with Yahoo also setting up shop, local wealth would appear to lean on this one particular sector.