A Sign of the Times
The recession came as The Boeing Company, the region's largest employer, went from a peak of 100,800 employees in 1967 to a low of 38,690 in April 1971. McDonald said their out-of-town clients "were amazed that Seattle wasn’t a ghost town with weeds growing in the streets. We wanted to counteract that attitude with a little humor" (Duncan). They chose a billboard site that they inevitably passed after picking up their clients at the airport. The men rented the billboard for $160.
The Boeing recovery began slowly: By October 1971 the firm employed 53,300 workers.