Chapter 9 -Early20th Century
Washington’s rapid growth resulted from a strong economy during the last 20 years of the 19th century. As discussed earlier, farming, commercial fishing, mining, shipbuilding, and timber were some of these activities. Employers in these industries needed employees. People came to Washington in large numbers to fill these jobs.
During the early 20th century the state of
Washington continued to grow. By 1900, our population was slightly more than one-half million people. Washington’s major economic activities were farming, timber, fishing, and mining. Each industry made use of our many natural resources.
Washington’s manufacturing industries and
natural resources helped the United States economy grow. Our state economy was especially important to our nation prior to the Great Depression. The Great Depression was the darkest economic period in our history. By the end of World War II, Washington had become an economic power. We were the nation’s leading producer of hydroelectricity, aluminum, and nuclear fuel. Washington was among the national leaders in aircraft and ship construction. We were also a major international port.
Today, Washington leads the world in the
production of commercial aircraft and computer
software. We are also a leading producer of electronic equipment. These companies produce
everything from measuring devices to video games.
At the same time, our traditional economic activities continue to grow stronger. Our economy will continue to expand during the 21st century. However, Washington residents will have to adjust to a changing job market.
In the future, there will be fewer manufacturing jobs. There will be many more
service related careers. Service related industries
include people working in retail, wholesale, distribution, recreation, tourism, entertainment,
and communication. Technology related jobs also fall within this category. Can you think of examples of jobs in each of these areas? There will continue to be many career professionals.
This category includes those working in
education, medical, legal, financial, and other institutions.
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