Why Washington will weather Boeing’s 737 MAX crisis

Feb 7, 2020, 8:36 AM | Updated: 10:21 am
Boeing, Renton...
A plane in Boeing's Renton plant. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

In the early 1970s, mass layoffs at Boeing led to a cascading economic bust throughout the Puget Sound region. Despite the many issues Boeing faces today, one economist doesn’t see the company’s current problems leading to similarly disastrous consequences in 2020.

Boeing 737 MAX could be close to flying again soon

“Boeing without a doubt is remarkably important to our regional and state economy,” Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross. “However, at the same time, what was different between now and 1973 is the diversification.”

In the 1970s, Boeing was virtually the only large-scale job producer in the region. Today, the tech sector has provided a job market that’s less dependent on any one, single company.

“I think it is that diversification which can be very protective to our economy regionally,” said Gardner. “I never like it when any one market relies on one company or one asset class.”

“Look at Detroit,” Ross noted, pointing to the Motor City’s reliance on the auto industry, and the many risks associated with that dependency.

That being so, Gardner sees the effect of Boeing’s issues with the 737 MAX as more of a national issue than a regional one.

“If Boeing does not deliver a commercial aircraft in Q1, that can reduce the U.S. GDP by over two-tenths of 1%,” he detailed. “So we’re not talking about something that just affects Washington — it can actually demonstrably slow down the U.S. economy.”

737 MAX training could cost Boeing time and money

“I think that’s more troublesome,” he added.

As for when Boeing might finally put the recent 737 MAX crisis behind it, Gardner is optimistic.

“I think they’re going to get there,” Gardner predicted. “I think they will re-certify the 737 MAX probably in the next 3 to 4 months.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

teacher of the year, Jerad Koepp...
MyNorthwest Staff

Meet the 2022 Washington State Teacher of the Year: Jerad Koepp

Jerad Koepp is Washington State Teacher of the Year for 2022. He is a Native American specialist for the North Thurston County Public Schools.
1 day ago
airport, freedom...
Dave Ross

Ross: You have the freedom to fly, or to stay home

When you enter an airport, you give up your freedom. Everybody knows this. If you don’t like it, exercise your freedom to stay home.
2 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: The wealthiest nation in history is again toying with the idea of not paying its bills

The debt drama is going down to the wire. The warnings are flying, the air is thick with blame – but I remind myself that this is how it’s supposed to work.
3 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Now we know what they were planning

On Monday, it was revealed why former President Donald Trump had every reason to believe he would win the 2020 election.
4 days ago
trump, secret service...
KIRO Radio staff

Fahrenthold: Taxpayers paid $1.7 million to protect Trump’s four kids, three officials

There's quite a bit of taxpayer money that went to the Secret Service to protect not just the president, but a bunch of other people as well.
5 days ago
Texas abortion...
Dave Ross

Ross: You get a lawsuit, and you get a lawsuit

The way the Texas law is written, Dr. Braid could be sued hundreds of times, and sued successfully, since he’s basically confessed to providing an abortion.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Why Washington will weather Boeing’s 737 MAX crisis