Washington State is One of Ten States that Will Boom: Forbes

Washington is ranked No. 6 among a list of “The 10 States that will boom over the next 5 Years” in the latest issue of Forbes, a ranking based on a study of enterprising states by the National Chamber Foundation.

The 10 States that will boom over the next 5 Years

  1. North Dakota
  2. Utah
  3. Texas
  4. Virginia
  5. Wyoming
  6. Washington
  7. Maryland
  8. Colorado
  9. South Dakota
  10. Massachusetts

Its bullish evaluation of The Evergreen State is based on “strong aerospace and technology sectors and a vibrant export economy,” according to Forbes. The magazine has previously ranked Washington as one of the five best states in America to do business.

The National Chamber Foundation used several factors in evaluating states:  The tops was “productivity and livability,” followed by “tax structure and regulatory burden” and “exports and trade.” Other factors were infrastructure and an atmosphere for fostering innovation.

The top state, and lately lowest in unemployment, is North Dakota, where an oil boom is attracting an educated workforce to a state that lost population through much of the 20th Century. South Dakota comes in No. 9, largely for its pro-business climate.

Utah is No. 2 on the list, as an exporter and for its vibrant financial services and technology sectors, as well as having a relatively low cost of living. The ranking is refutation of a jab by the late Western writer-activist Edward Abbey, who wrote: “Visitors are always welcome in the Beehive State: Just turn your watch back 50 years.”

Texas is ranked No. 3 as a generator of new jobs, with a diversified economy, and low cost of living.

Virginia is the highest ranking state in the East at No. 4, praised for its high levels of family income and its high level of education (although the president of the University of Virginia was fired last week).  The Old Dominion also earns praise for its physical beauty.

Wyoming, while America’s most sparsely populated state, gets ranked No. 5, for the energy boom that is creating new jobs (although fracking used in natural gas exploration has caused some ranchers’ water supply to fizz and flame).

Maryland is second-ranking state in the East, coming in at No. 7 for its high family income level as well as research and high technology sectors in its economy.

Colorado, at No. 8, is praised as a magnet for young families as well as a center for new businesses.

It is a center for higher education and a whipping boy for the political right, but Massachusetts comes in at No. 10, praised for having America’s most educated work force and a high level of family income.

Washington’s high ranking is already bringing smiles to a politician who has been forced to slash budgets and state services.  Gov. Chris Gregoire has just Tweeted it.

Source:  Seattle PI, June 20, 2012.