Among the 50 states, Washington is an economic leader. Our state is thriving, showing steady population growth, rising personal income, new business ventures, and is home to global leaders in retail, technology, manufacturing, aerospace and more. It’s a success story many states aspire to recreate.
Yet, within our state, many rural communities struggle. The economic data driving the state numbers can largely be attributed to the metropolitan Puget Sound region, where dominant manufacturing, tech and retail firms are located. And that’s where the jobs, investment, and population growth are centered.
Meanwhile, rural communities face challenging conditions, including population loss, shuttered downtown retail stores, and a dwindling tax base to support public services. Creating and maintaining a sustainable rural economy has become a national challenge, Many of Washington’s business, civic and governmental leaders also see it as problem of neighbors helping neighbors. Much of this was thoroughly discussed in the Rural Jobs Summit sponsored by the Association of Washington Business.
We are interested in your thoughts on the urban-rural divide in economic vitality. Please take a few minutes to complete the following brief survey: