State’s top economist describes uneven distribution of economic prosperity to Association of Washington Business audience

Earlier this month, we wrote of the generally solid economic and revenue growth in the state. And, previously we’ve written about the urban-rural divide, contending that it’s vital for the state to pursue policies that promote shared prosperity.

In remarks last week the state’s top economist expanded on the theme. As reported by the Association of Washington Business,

Steve Lerch, executive director of the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, told AWB’s Lobby Lunch audience Thursday that the economic boom in the central Puget Sound has not been seen throughout the state.

For example, it took Seattle until June 2013 to return to the number of jobs it had at the peak in February 2008, before the start of the Great Recession. But in many rural areas, it took much longer. Yakima didn’t return to pre-recession job numbers until November, 2014. It took Bellingham until January 2015 and Mount Vernon didn’t fully recover until January 2016. Since then, Mount Vernon has actually seen a small drop in employment.

“It’s not translating to the rest of the state,” Lerch said.

For the full presentation, view the video

We’re pleased that AWB is making these Lobby Lunch presentations available to people who cannot attend in person.

Other Lobby Lunches on video – top gubernatorial advisers, Republican leadership and Democratic leadership – are available here.