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Updated “Benchmarks for a Better Washington” mark state’s progress against key 50-state metrics

The Washington Roundtable today released updated “Benchmarks for a Better Washington,” an evaluation of the state’s economic vitality measured against 13 key indicators.


“Our goal is to make Washington a top 10 state for quality of life and innovation – education, transportation and job creation – and ensure it is not among the most expensive states in which to do business.  Washington has to compete on quality and on cost. These Benchmarks measure progress and make clear where the state needs to improve,” said Steve Mullin, Washington Roundtable president.


In the four years that the Roundtable has tracked the Benchmarks:

  • Washington has maintained some key competitive advantages, most notably in patent generation (a leading indicator of innovation) and commercial electricity rates (ranking 1st in the nation).
  • Washington’s economy has done well comparatively in job creation, ranking 13th among the states.
  • Washington’s education system has demonstrated signs of progress.  Washington is now a top 10 state for student achievement in math, based on the performance of 8th graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.  However, Washington still ranks among the bottom half of all states for high school graduation rates (32nd) and bachelor’s degree production per capita (38th).
  • Washington’s transportation system has continued to raise concerns, with the road condition ranking dropping to 36th and the bridge condition ranking holding at 41st.
  • Business cost rankings have continued to be problematic, with Washington ranking among the bottom 10 states for both unemployment insurance tax rates (44th) and workers’ compensation benefits paid (50th).

The full report of Benchmark rankings is available here.

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