What makes a state a great place to live and do business? How does Washington rank on key issues like education quality, transportation efficiency, and economic vitality? Check out new Benchmarks for a Better Washington data for a snapshot of where Washington stands compared to all 50 states, and where there’s room for improvement.
The Roundtable began tracking the Benchmarks for a Better Washington in 2011 with the goal of making Washington a top 10 state for quality of life and innovation and ensuring it is not one of the 10 most expensive states in which to do business.
As compared to data released in the fall of 2014:•Washington continues to be a leader in private sector job creation, moving up to 4th from 13th among the states.
- Education continues to be a concern. With a high school graduation rate of 76.4 percent for the class of 2013, Washington fell to 40th among all states. Rather than moving closer to being a top 10 state, we risk falling into the bottom 10.
- Our transportation system doesn’t rate well for quality or efficiency, falling among the bottom 20 states for road and bridge conditions as well as commute times. The state transportation investment approved this year in should help improve those rankings over time.
- Business costs continue to be a concern. Washington ranks among the middle third of all states for business tax burden, but the state continues to have the nation’s highest workers’ compensation rates and is among the 10 worst states for unemployment insurance costs.