Washington State— No. 2 in the nation best for business, according to Forbes

Forbes unveiled their annual “Best States for Business” list and Washington climbed up a notch from last year’s third place bracket, coming in at second place. Forbes Magazine ranks all 50 states based on the following factors: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. Business costs, including labor, energy and taxes, carry the most weight, statistically.

Out of all 50 states, Washington came in No. 1 in the growth potential category, which reflects projected growth in jobs, income and gross state product, along with business openings and closings, plus venture capital investments. Washington came in No. 2 regarding labor, which is the category that measures the state’s average level of education, net migration and projected population growth. Our economic climate, as measured by the state’s job, income and gross state product growth, unemployment rate and concentration of larger companies, was No. 3 out of all 50 states. Washington’s regulatory environment is No. 5 on Forbes’ list.

Conversely, Washington came in 24 out of 50 in the quality of life category and 27 out of 50 in the business cost category. Despite those mediocre scores, Washington still came in the second best state for business. Is it possible that the sunny forecast for the other four categories eludes to imminent improvement of the state’s quality of life and business costs? What are your thoughts?

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