Washington ranks 8th in the nation in the latest “top states for business” scorecard from 2015. The state ranked 7th last year.
Here’s the tally:
Finishing in the top 10 is great. But there are some reasons for concern. Look at the rankings for workforce (#27), cost of doing business (#28), infrastructure (#33), and cost of living (#36). Washington ranks in the bottom half of the nation in each of these key factors. The high overall ranking is driven by technology & innovation (#1), quality of life (#7), access to capital (#10) and the economy (#11).
The Opportunity Washington roadmap recognizes both the state’s strengths and competitiveness weaknesses. Our Achieve priority focuses on using education to build the workforce required for success, particularly in our robust innovation economy. Our Connect emphasizes improvements in infrastructure to assure safe and efficient transportation, and our Employ priority addresses regulatory and business cost policies designed to improve the climate for investment and job creation.
The report comes as lawmakers continue to struggle with adopting the biennial budget and passing a transportation package. Though further evidence was not required, the CNBC rankings underscore the importance of investing in transportation and education while controlling business costs. There’s overwhelming support for passing a comprehensive transportation package now and both legislative chambers have made education funding a top priority. Now’s the time to resolve differences and get the job done.
Here’s CNBC’s short take on Washington.
The Evergreen State climbs to the top for technology and innovation. But roads are poor, and the cost of living here is high.
CNBC’s methodology is described here.