Research Economist

Western Washington University   Bellingham, WA   Full-time     Research
Posted on August 30, 2023
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Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

Western Washington University is committed to achieving excellence through advancing inclusive success, increasing our Washington impact, and focusing on transformational education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and based on innovative scholarship, research, and creative activity. Western's greatest strength is the outstanding students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae who make up its community. Western supports an inclusive governance structure for all and provides a learning and working environment in which everyone can thrive. In pursuit of this excellence, individual employees are expected to establish and maintain productive and effective inclusive working relationships amongst diverse populations including staff, faculty, administration, student, and external constituents. Further, individual employees are expected to have the ability to operationalize sustainability concepts (economic, societal, environmental) into all aspects of performing their job duties.

About the Department

The Center for Economic and Business Research supports Western's mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position

This position functions as the Research Economist in the Center and as a mentor for student researchers, providing assistance, training, and support to the students. The Center engages in more than two dozen unique research projects annually. As Research Economist, this position is responsible for overseeing and managing the methodology and analytics related to: economic impact analyses; data collection, organization, and monthly forecasts for the Puget Sound Economic Forecaster; and other analytical project support work. This position supports and conducts primary research including public opinion (survey and focus groups) and responding to requests for proposals. This critical role is also responsible for preparing and reviewing written reports on other projects engaged in by the Center which include public opinion research, regional economic research and other related areas. This position may require presentation of findings of all of the Center’s research projects.

Position Duties and Responsibilities

General economic and business research and analysis for Center projects (30%)

  • Monitor changes in economies from local to global and their effects on modeling efforts
  • Collect economic and demographic data from secondary and primary sources using survey mechanisms and established databases/datasets
  • Generate and/or edit reports on analyses of data for clients
  • Assist in designing media (graphics, images, videos, etc.) that are relevant to projects
  • Maintain historical record of projects

Impact Analysis and Econometric Modeling (30%)

  • Advanced statistical analysis, including econometric modeling in EViews and other statistical packages
  • Perform economic impact analyses in IMPLAN, with the ability to customize sectors and multipliers

Provide Mentorship, Training, and Support for Student Researchers and Projects (30%)

  • Work in a collaborative setting with student researchers and faculty
  • Manage reporting and deadline for all concurrent projects
  • Monitor student work for quality and consistency of analysis, writing, and presentation
  • Mentor and train student employees
  • Manage students on personal and professional level

Draft Proposals, Presentations, and External Meetings (10%)

  • Assist Director in writing project proposals and scope of work documents for potential projects
  • Produce written articles for publication
  • Attend meetings and give presentations across the region to clients
  • Other administrative duties to facilitate the office
  • Receive training in new research methods and tools and network with other researchers

Required QualificationsNote: All relevant experience including lived, volunteer, or professional, or a combination of experience and education that demonstrate the ability to perform the work will be considered.

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education/experience
  • Demonstrated advanced working knowledge with advanced analytical tools, for example including one or more of the following (or similar), IMPLAN, EViews, Microsoft Word, Excel;
  • Ability to create and edit technical reports designed for a non-technical audience related to economics, marketing, spatial analysis and demographic data;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills that include professional and motivational communication, public speaking, and relationship building;
  • Prior experience with research design;
  • Ability to balance competing high priority requests/projects;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse populations, including multicultural experience and cross-cultural communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Academic degree in Economics
  • Demonstrated advanced working knowledge with surveys and with Qualtrics;
  • Prior experience conducting economic forecasts and impact analyses;
  • Prior experience conducting public opinion primary research;
  • Prior experience writing project proposals;
  • Experience with supervising researchers or other equivalent experience;
  • Reliable transportation for meetings throughout region;
  • Ability to have limited overnight travel.

Note: If you think you do not qualify, consider again. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Western Washington University, we are dedicated to building a diverse and authentic workplace centered in belonging. If you are excited about this role but your experience does not align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may just be the needed candidate for this or other roles.

Conditions of EmploymentAll employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.Salary Hiring range is $57,011 - $65,563/year depending on qualifications and experience.

Benefits Information

Benefits Overview for Administrative Professional Position.

Application Instructions

A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and how you meet each of the required qualifications, and any preferred qualifications. Please include the names and contact information of three professional references. References will only be contacted for finalists.

Closing Date Notes

Application review begins September 19, 2023; position is open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation.

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires which includes a sexual misconduct background check.