This job has declined the most in Washington state in the past decade

Sep 25, 2019, 12:58 PM | Updated: Oct 14, 2019, 4:39 pm

At this point, it’s quite obvious that the American job market is evolving. It’s evident with cities like Seattle which are swimming in tech employees. Or presidential candidates pushing the issue to the front of their campaigns.

Read an update on this story here.

While some jobs are growing, other fields are shrinking. In Washington, considering the more than 3.2 million employees in the state, the job most on the decline is “manufactured building and mobile home installers.” This is according to an assessment by Commercial Cafe. Perhaps unintentionally, it provides another perspective on the region’s affordable housing crisis the region.

People in the manufactured building and mobile home installing industry declined by 88 percent between 2009 and 2018. Though, the job pool has always been relatively small. There were 260 employees in 2009. By 2018, that number shrank to 30.

Commercial Cafe also calculated the likelihood that automation is driving the downturn. In Washington’s case, there’s an 18 percent chance that automation is responsible for the shrinking mobile home job market.

To put that in perspective, consider Washington’s Northwest neighbor, Alaska. Roustabouts, or workers in oil and gas operations, have declined by 86 percent over the same time period (from 2,110 in 2009 to 290 in 2018). Automation is 68 percent responsible for this decline, according to the same study.

At 18 percent likelihood, automation is not solely the cause of the manufacture home downturn in Washington state. It’s worth noting that as the numbers of mobile home installers declined in recent years, so has the availability of affordable housing in the region.

Mobile homes, or manufactured housing, has been considered a form of unsubsidized affordable housing. Its popularity took off in the 1980s and continued through the 1990s. But that popularity has slowly waned after the millennium.

In Seattle, for example, the number of households in mobile homes went down by 27.1 percent between 2000 and 2016.

  • 2000: 52,790, or 4.4 percent of all households
  • 2016: 47,226, or 3.2 percent of all households

Today, about 5.6 percent of Americans (17.1 million people) live in manufactured homes. According to Apartment List, among the 100 largest metro areas in the county, mobile home residents spend about 40.5 percent less on housing costs than owners of homes built on site. The website further reports that the average income for a non-mobile home owner in 2018 was $79,000, while a mobile home owner earned $42,052.

As of a 2018 assessment by Apartment List:

  • Bellingham: 6,055 mobile homes; 7.2 percent of households
  • Bremerton: 7,373; 7.2 percent
  • Olympia: 10,676; 10.1 percent
  • Seattle: 47,226; 3.2 percent
  • Spokane: 18,264; 7.7 percent
  • Wenatchee: 6,302;
  • Yakima: 10,234; 12.6 percent

Just in case you are wondering, while mobile home installers have been on the decline, the fastest growing occupation in Washington state between 2009 and 2018 was “human resources specialist.” That job experienced 347 percent growth.

This blog was originally published Sept. 25, 2019.

MyNorthwest Blog

Seahawks Broncos...

Bill Kaczaraba

How ’bout those Seahawks!?!

The Seahawks season that began with plenty of doubt started with a win over our former quarterback and ended with a playoff appearance.

5 months ago

Tulalip Christmas Lights 1...

Bill Kaczaraba

2023 – The light has just begun, Seattle days are getting longer

We send you into the new year with the winter lights from the Tulalip Casino in Marysville. We wish you a very successful 2023.

5 months ago

happy holidays...

MyNorthwest Staff

Happy Holidays from KIRO Newsradio, Seattle Sports, and AM 770 KTTH!

To close out 2022, everyone at KIRO Newsradio, Seattle Sports, and AM 770 KTTH want to wish you happy holidays!

5 months ago

Mariners Playoffs...

Michael Simeona

Relive Cal Raleigh’s magical home run that sent Mariners to playoffs

Relive Cal Raleigh's game-winning home run that sent the Mariners to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

8 months ago

Building Black Wealth Graphic_900x506...

MyNorthwest Staff

Watch: Celebrate Juneteenth with Draze’s third annual ‘Building Black Wealth’

Seattle rapper Draze is hosting a live virtual marketplace on Juneteenth for the third annual 'Building Black Wealth' this Sunday at 9:00 a.m.

12 months ago

WWII Veterans...

Bill Kaczaraba

Dad is just one hero on this Memorial Day

On this Veterans Day, MyNorthwest editor Bill Kaczaraba remembers his dad who served in the Army during World War II.

1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

This job has declined the most in Washington state in the past decade