Local companies hold firm during economic slump

This year’s list of Pierce County’s largest employers – put together by the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County – shows that most county businesses remain relatively strong in spite of the economic downturn.

Only 24 companies from last year’s list saw full-time equivalent employees fall by more than 10 percent. And companies experienced a growth of FTEs of more than 10 percent. The large majority remained stable.

The U.S. Army at Fort Lewis, with 31,471 employees, heads up the 2003 line-up, which lists 176 companies that have more than 100 full-time equivalent workers.

Local public school districts, with 13,010 people, takes second place on the list.

The largest non-governmental employer is Multicare Health System, with 3,587 people, which is fifth on the list.

The largest employers provide work for nearly 46 percent of Pierce County’s employed population. Small companies provided the rest.