Credit Unions Support Tens of Thousands of Northwest Jobs

In the recent report detailing the economic impact of Northwest credit unions, ECONorthwest—the independent firm that conducted the study—found that credit unions employ 15,323 people in Oregon and Washington.

This number is made even more significant by two key findings. ECONorthwest found that credit unions offer “family wage” jobs, and that each credit union job creates more jobs in the region through the economic multiplier effect.

Family Wage Jobs

ECONorthwest found that credit union jobs offer the wages and benefits that employees need to support families, rather than the low compensation seen in many sectors of the U.S. economy. Northwest credit union employees, they found, are more likely to earn family wages than most other industries.

People who earn family wages tend to invest more back into their local communities, buying homes, cars, and local services. The 10,000 credit union employees in Washington and nearly 5,000 in Oregon have a major impact on their local, state and regional economies.

The Multiplier Effect

The other key finding about credit union jobs is that they support other jobs in the region through the economic multiplier effect. This effect measures how an economic impact—say a single purchase—cascades from one business to another, creating further impact.

Since credit union employees earn family wages and are able to invest in their communities, they have a high multiplier effect. In fact, ECONorthwest found that every credit job makes two more jobs possible in the region.

When the math is done, the 15,323 credit union jobs support an additional 30,974 jobs in Oregon and Washington. So, in total, credit unions support 46,296 jobs in the Northwest—yet another way that credit unions are foundational to the Northwest economy.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,


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