Economist, Operations Research Specialist description image

Economist, Operations Research Specialist

Salary: $80,112.00 – $107,712.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Job Number: 2024-4-6784-04884
Department: Dept. of Natural Resources
Opening Date: 04/18/2024
Closing Date: 4/30/2024 11:59 PM Pacific
Category: IT and Computers / Land Use / Natural Resources / Forestry / Statistics/Mathematics


Economist, Operations Research Specialist description image



Economist, Operations Research Specialist
Recruitment #2024-4-6784
Full-time, Permanent, Represented position

Location flexibility may be available and considered: Olympia, WA 
Relocation Compensation may be available and considered
Work Hour and Partial Telework flexibility may be available and considered
Salary: $6,676.00 – $8,976.00 Monthly 

Want to join something GREAT and make a difference?
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has an exciting opportunity within our Office of Finance, Budget, and Economics. The Economist team is looking for an Applied Quantitative Economist who can harness data to create insightful analyses and drive impactful decisions. If you’re passionate about applying economics, econometrics, statistics (or machine learning if you’re so inclined!) to solve real-world problems, then this is the place for you!



This Economist role is a key part of the Economics group and contributes to all aspects of the group’s work – primarily the development of all agency economic analyses and studies and the development of applications to manage, visualize, and communicate economic data or analyses. A key output for the group is the DNR Economic and Revenue Forecast, which includes the preparation of information critical to the development of the DNR operating budget, and involves overseeing the development and communication of detailed, confidential, and proprietary economic analysis and revenue information. Revenue forecasts are used by DNR, OFM, and the Legislature to set budgets not only for DNR but for other state agencies and trust beneficiaries. Over-estimates could result in agencies needing to abruptly reduce expenditures, fire employees, and reduce expected deliverables and services; if underestimated, opportunities are missed to fund critical state government functions. In the long term, good decisions lead to better trust management and increased value to the beneficiaries.

In service to the Economic and Revenue Forecast, this position also performs research and monitoring of economic conditions related to the timber/forest products, lumber/wood products, and U.S. housing sectors; U.S. and world macroeconomic conditions; relevant China and Canada economic trends and indicators; and other regions, commodities, and economic sectors relating to DNR revenue production (e.g., Washington economy, geoduck, vineyards, wheat, foreign trade).

Additional work includes regulatory analyses (such as cost-benefit analysis or small business economic impact statements) and internal consulting on all manner of economics-related questions.


Required Qualifications: 

  • Master’s degree in economics, forest economics, econometrics, or a closely related field;
    OR a bachelor’s degree in these fields AND two years of relevant experience can substitute for a master’s degree;
    OR an equivalent combination of education and/or experience.
  • Two years of experience with data analysis in Excel and at least one year of experience with a statistical scripting programming language such as R, Python, Julia, Stata, etc.
  • Familiarity with relational databases, particularly SQL-based (MySQL, Oracle).
  • Demonstrated experience or academic work with economic, econometric, or statistical modeling – this can include general equilibrium modeling, linear regression, time series, etc.
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering and supporting an environment that honors diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice practices.
  • Perform assigned duties in a manner consistent with applicable laws, regulations and public records retention and requests are followed.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both in speaking and in writing, and the ability to communicate highly technical concepts and information to decision-makers.
  • DNR Core Competencies:
    • Personal Accountability
    • Value Others
    • Compassionate Communication
    • Inspire Others
    • Commitment to Excellence
Special Requirements and Conditions of Employment:
  • Duty Station is at the Natural Resources Building in Olympia. The work setting is an office
    environment. This position may participate in the elective telework program with the agency, as approved.
  • Travel is minimal but could include visits to DNR facilities (region offices, work centers, etc.) to meet with agency colleagues.
Desired Qualifications:
  • A PhD in economics, statistics, computer science, or a closely related field.
  • Five years of experience as an Economist, Natural Resources policy analyst, or related role.
Don’t let doubts stop you from applying for this position – If you have any questions about the required qualifications or how your past experience relates to them, please contact us at A note to potential candidates: Studies have shown that women, trans, non-binary, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are less likely to apply for jobs unless they feel they meet every qualification as described in a job description. We value diversity and inclusion in our organization, and we are looking for the best person for the job. Don’t hesitate to apply! 


Supplemental Information

Application Requirements:

  • Apply online: at (Click on the APPLY button above).
  • Letter of interest: describing your specific qualifications to the position and position required, desired, and special requirements.
  • Resume: that details your experience and qualifications.
  • References: at least three professional references with current telephone numbers– you may attach a document, use the References text field in the online application, or include it with your resume.
  • Important: Do not attach any documents that include photos or private information (social security number, year of birth, etc.).
  • Complete all supplemental questions.
  • Candidates who move forward in the recruitment process may be contacted via email at with interview information/scheduling instructions. Please monitor the email listed in your application materials and check your junk email folder to ensure you receive those communications.
Questions?  Please contact Kristoffer Larson at or e-mail us at

About the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 
At DNR we approach our work through the lens of making Washington a better place environmentally and are dedicated to serving Washington’s lands and communities through diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
Our Vision – Our actions ensure a future where Washington’s lands, waters, and communities thrive.
Our Mission – Manage, sustain, and protect the health and productivity of Washington’s lands and waters to meet the needs of present and future generations.
Our Core Values:
  • Safety and Well-Being —Our top priority is the safety of the public and our employees.
  • Public Service —We value and respect the public we serve, and we value and respect the people of the Department of Natural Resources who step up to serve.
  • Innovation and Creative Problem-Solving — We solve our state’s most pressing challenges through innovative thinking, dedication, and bold and creative vision.
  • Leadership and Teamwork —We are committed to building leaders at all levels and building teams for success.
DNR provides excellent benefits, a few of which include:
  • Commitment to organizational health and wellness
  • Work/life balance
  • DNR Employee Resource Groups (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, Women’s Employee Resource Group, Veterans Employee Resource Group, etc.)
  • Statewide Employee Business Resource Groups, visit here to learn more
  • Leadership that empowers and supports employees
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Educational and career development aid
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Eligibility
  • Opportunities to participate in wildland fire suppression assignments
  • A comprehensive benefits package that includes employer contributions toward health insurance, paid holidays, retirement plans, sick leave, and vacation days. Visit for more information.
Additional Information:
This recruitment may be extended and may also be used to fill future similar vacancies for up to sixty (60) days.
DNR does not use the E-Verify system. For more information, please visit

Veterans wishing to claim Veteran’s preference please attach a copy of your DD-214, NGB-22, or other verification of military service. Please black out your social security number prior to attaching it. We thank you and are grateful for your service!

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 522-2500 or email Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384.

Once you submit your online application, you can check your status by logging into your account. If you experience technical difficulties creating, accessing or completing your application call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or email

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