Washington’s Economic Climate Study shows 2016 improvement

In a presentation at the Senate Ways and Means Committee meeting on Monday, Steve Lerch, PhD, Executive Director of the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, presented the results of the most recent Economic Climate Study.

The Economic Climate Study is a comprehensive evaluation of 48 different measurements that contribute to a successful economy. The various benchmarks measure quality of life, economic growth, business performance, and innovation drivers. The measurements also help to assess the competitive standing of Washington compared to other states.

According to this year’s report,

  • Both Washington’s overall performance and rank improved relative to last year.
  • Washington’s composite score rank improved from 5th to 4th best in the nation.
  • Washington’s rank improved in eighteen cases, worsened in eighteen cases, and stayed the same in twelve
  • Washington’s performance improved in twenty-six cases, worsened in nineteen cases, and stayed the same in three.

Washington took the top spot in the nation in the growth of high wage jobs and industries. Washington also scored well in entrepreneurship and investment measurements as seen by its 3rd place ranking in both the number of patents filed/100,000 people and in the amount of venture capital investment in the state.

On the low end, Washington ranked 48th in property crime/100,000 people, 45th in the number of state arts agencies/person, and 41st in housing affordability. The state also saw its biggest decline (from 17th to 27th) in air quality, and a decline from 32nd to 39th in air traffic delays.

The entire report, including information on all 48 measurements, as well accompanying graphs and charts, can be found here.


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