7. Strengthening the economy of South Thurston communities
Outlook: Partly sunny, future uncertain
Bucoda, Rainier and Tenino capture only a fraction of their residents' expected retail spending while Yelm attracts spending by residents in surrounding areas. Only Bucoda has increased the fraction of it's residents expected spending in-town.
Economic vibrancy is an essential element of a community, and this indicator is designed to measure the collective strength of a community's local businesses to capture its residents’ spending.
What are we measuring?
Retail leakage coefficient — a comparison of expected retail sales (based on population) to actual retail sales.
A coefficient of 1 indicates that a community is capturing retail sales equal to expected spending by local residents. If the coefficient is below 1, the community’s residents are spending their dollars elsewhere. If the coefficient is above 1, the community is drawing spending from adjacent areas. As approximately 50% of Thurston County’s households live outside of incorporated cities yet do most of their spending in the cities, the average coefficient for unincorporated Thurston County is only 0.19.
Bucoda, Rainier, and Tenino are all experiencing retail sales leakage, with most of their residents’ spending done outside of their community. In contrast, Yelm is a retail sales hub, capturing retail sales nearly 50% greater than the expected spending of Yelm residents.
Overall, spending in Thurston County by residents of other counties — such as Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor, and Pierce Counties — slightly exceeds spending by Thurston County in adjacent counties.