Friday Roundup: Washington state economy continues to top national rankings

State revenues continue to beat expectations, as reported by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council Tuesday. Washington continues to both outperform projections and lead the nation in key economic indicators. The state economy seems to be on a roll.

So, this week, the Friday Roundup pulls together a series of recent stories and state-by-state rankings of economic performance. Some of this will be familiar territory to our regular readers. 

  • Earlier this month, we reported that Washington ranked No. 2 on CNBC’s “Top States for Business” list. Last year, we were No. 1.

Washington did best in workforce, economy and quality of life. Our marks for cost of living, cost of doing business, and business-friendliness are of concern. 

Credit reporting site WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 27 metrics for economic health and opportunity in the report…

Washington ranked No. 1, driven by factors like strong gross domestic product growth, exports per capita, and percentage of high-tech jobs.

Washington gets high marks in labor supply, growth prospects and economic climate. The state falls down in business costs, regulatory environment and quality of life.

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis released its data on GDP growth by state in 2017 and it turns out Washington State was at the top.

The state had a GDP growth rate of 4.4%, first among all states.  No other state was over 4%.  The national GDP growth was 2.1%.

Business Insider combined six measures of labor-market and general economic health for all the states and the District of Columbia. They are the unemployment rate, job growth, per-capita GDP, GDP growth, average weekly wages, and wage growth…

Washington state’s April 2018 average weekly wage of $1,168 was the second-highest among the states and DC, and its non-farm payroll job growth rate of 2.8% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the fourth-highest.

Digging into the data underlying the overall Employ score, we find Washington ranks 17th (near the top third of all states) on the State Business Tax Climate rankings published by the Tax Foundation…

Also included in our metrics is a straightforward calculation of business tax burdens produced by the Council of State Taxation. COST finds that Washington imposes the nation’s 3rd highest state and local business tax burden per employee. This high cost tax ranking offsets the positive bump Washington gets from the Tax Foundation ranking.

In all, the state has done well despite what several reports have cited as a challenging cost structure. There are always proposals to change things, even more of them pop up in an election year. The question that must be asked: Will these proposals enhance or curb the state’s extraordinary economic vitality?