One university’s study has ranked the states in terms of the health of their manufacturing and logistics industries, with Washington maintaining its middling grade in the latter while slipping in the former.
The 2017 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, prepared by Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research for Conexus Indiana, graded the Evergreen State a “C” in both logistics in manufacturing. That’s the same grade the state received in logistics last year, while manufacturing fell from a “B-“ in 2016.
Several factors went into the rankings, with Washington excelling in some (“A” grades in the human capital, productivity/innovation and diversification sub-categories) and sorely lagging in others (an “F” in benefits costs).
Washington’s grades also fell in a trio of sub-categories: global trade reach (“B+” to “B”), tax climate (“C” to “C-”) and fiscal liability gap (“B” to “B-”).
Also among the study’s findings: U.S. manufacturing production, on the whole, continues to make gains, growing 11 percent since the dot.com bust of 2000-03 and the Great Recession of 2007-09.
“According to folklore, this has been a terrible generation for manufacturing and those who move goods,” said Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research. “That isn’t really what the data says. Indeed, 2015 was a record manufacturing production year in inflation-adjusted dollars. While 2016 fell just short with some weakness in the first and second quarter, 2017 looks to be a new record year.”