Washington Leading Nation in Employment and Wage Growth; Middle Class Fleeing California

Seattle Times economy reporter Blanca Torres writes that Washington State booked top jobs and wage numbers last quarter. 

Contrary to the popular perception that American wages are stagnant, wages are going up for some full-time workers — those who have been employed for more than a year — according to the most recent ADP Workforce Vitality Report, which analyzes private-sector job and wage growth.

Washington state in particular hit a sweet spot of both strong employment and wage growth, the report found.

Click through on the link to read the data-rich report, with a good national infographic

Washington’s relatively strong performance contrasts with that of California, which also may serve as a cautionary example. The American Interest examines a Hoover Institution analysis of migration patterns showing a striking outmigration of middle class families. Hoover scholar Carson Bruno writes,

Between 2004 and 2015, roughly 930,000 more people left California than moved to the Golden State -just three years saw net domestic in-migration. The biggest beneficiaries of California’s net loss are Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

California is bleeding working young professional families.

They’re leaving for reasons that may be familiar to Washingtonians.

…California is an extraordinarily high cost-of-living state. Whether it is the state’s housing affordability crisis – California’s median home value per square foot is, on average, 2.1 times higher than Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington’s – California’s very expensive energy costs – the state’s residential electric price is about 1.5 times higher than the competing states – or the Golden State’s oppressive tax burden – California ranks 6th, nationally, in state-local tax burdens – those living in California are hit with a variety of higher bills, which cuts into their bottom line.

Washington enjoyed a great 4th quarter and appears poised to continue robust economic growth. We offer a roadmap for expanding Washington’s culture of opportunity to individuals, families, employers, and communities in every corner of the state. It will also help Washington avoid the middle class exodus now plaguing the once-Golden State.