December 4, 2017
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New Opportunity Washington Scorecard shows how state is faring against the rest of America

The newest rankings are out, and Washington now ranks squarely in the middle of the pack for how it supports the ability of Washington's residents, employers and communities to thrive.

The new Opportunity Washington Scorecard looks at independent data across 16 variables to score all 50 states. In the latest ranking, released last week, Washington state comes in at 25th out of the 50 states. That's an improvement on the previous ranking of 31st, but lower than the state's peak ranking of 24 in the fall of 2015. Regardless, there's still a long way to go to meet the goal of making Washington a top 10 state overall in each of the three main categories: Achieve, Connect and Employ.

Washington's overall Opportunity Score was 76, an improvement on its previous score of 69. The top Opportunity Score in the nation was Utah, with a ranking of 210. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia and Indiana round out the top five.

The Achieve score saw Washington coming in at 18th with a score of 84, an improvement on its previous ranking of 22 and score of 78. The improvements came as Washington saw better scores in post-secondary metrics tracked for degrees awarded per capita for associate's, bachelor's, STEM bachelor's and master's degrees.

The Connect ranking came in at 39th; the last Scorecard had the state at 38th. The change came from longer commutes associated with robust population and economic growth in Washington’s metropolitan areas. As the 2015 Connecting Washington projects begin to come online, transportation system performance is expected to improve over time.

The Employ ranking came in at 21st in the nation, versus the previous ranking of 30th. The improvement comes from lower unemployment insurance taxes, higher levels of private-sector research and development investment, and other factors.

Overall, it's good to see positive movement in the trend-lines, the report concludes, but there's more work to be done: "This recent improvement, particularly in the Employ indicator, is encouraging. Our state must continue working to build on this progress."

Read the full report on Opportunity Washington’s website.

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