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Originally published Monday, September 20, 2010 at 4:38 PM

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Commercial aerospace employed 77,000 here at year-end

State data show commercial-aerospace jobs in Washington grew last year.

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Washington's commercial-aerospace industry employed some 77,400 people in the state at the end of last year, with almost two-thirds of them earning more than $30 an hour, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Revenue.

The data are collected from companies that took tax incentives available to the commercial-airplanes business.

Excluded are defense-side aerospace workers, including an additional 13,000 Boeing employees.

Despite the continuing squeeze in the broader economy, the total Washington commercial-aerospace work force reported in 2009 was 1,500 people more than the previous year's total.

A Department of Revenue summary of the data broken down by job category shows the work force includes nearly 18,000 engineers, 37,000 production workers and 6,000 managers.

More than three-quarters of the Boeing Commercial Airplane employees included in the 2009 data earned more than $30 an hour.

At the other end of the wage scale, less than 1 percent of Boeing employees were paid $15 per hour or less, while other aerospace firms in Washington — mostly smaller suppliers — paid 22 percent of their employees this much.

In reports filed annually with the state, companies that take Washington's commercial-aerospace tax incentives must detail how many employees they have and what wages and benefits they provide.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com

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