While the economic climate in Washington generally improved this year, the state’s ranking declined compared to 2010, according to the 2011 Washington Economic Study published by the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

Of the 41 indicators covered by the study, 36 were updated. The five indicators which were not updated lacked updated data at the time of publication. The study compares Washington’s performance and ranking to other states and itself historically.
Performance in innovation drivers improved on an annual basis, but showed mixed performance in comparisons to other states. The state improved performance in eight indicators, worsened in three and three remained unchanged. Washington’s rank relative to other states improved in four indicators, worsened in six and remained unchanged in three.

Business performance indicators, such as exports, high wage growth and manufacturing value added, suffered in comparison to last year’s Economic Climate Study but still remained strong. The state’s year-over-year performance improved in just one indicator and worsened in four. Washington’s rank relative to other states worsened in two indicators and remained unchanged in two; no indicators improved relative to other states.

Economic growth and competitiveness indicators (income, employment, unemployment, earnings, housing and wages) improved over the year, but did not improve relative to other states. The state year-over-year performance improved in five indicators and worsened in two. Washington fared poorly when compared to other states. The state’s rank did not improve in any indicators, worsened in six and remained unchanged in one.

“Quality of Life” indicators (crime, air and water quality, health, recreation, arts and library service) were again one of Washington’s best performing categories. The state year-over-year performance improved in six indicators and worsened in three, with one unchanged. The state’s rank relative to other states improved in three indicators, worsened in four and remained unchanged in three.

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