March 18, 2019
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Employment Security Dept. to host 2019 economic symposium in Seattle on April 1

The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) invites statewide and community leaders on April 1 to address key economic and workforce development issues. Attendees and presenters will share and discuss “metrics that matter” to “connect the dots” across public-education-private-nonprofit sectors and geographies in Washington state.

The department's Labor Market and Economic Analysis division will host the 2019 Economic Symposium at Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

Topics to be addressed include:

  •  Washington statewide and regional economic forecasts
  •  Combatting labor shortages through apprenticeships and the community colleges system
  •  Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Past successes and new initiatives
  •  ESD’s Labor Market & Economic Analysis’ website of data and resources
  •  Shipping and transportation sector update
  •  Washington state regions reimagined
  •  The Future of Work: Workforce trends and “future proofing” Washington’s workers and businesses.

Learn more and register for ESD's event here.

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Competitiveness Matters

State won 'economic lottery;' it doesn't need new taxes

By Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin

Imagine winning the lottery tomorrow. You'd have $10 million to spend on whatever you wanted in an instant.

Of course, the prudent thing would be to get a financial adviser and plan for the future. Ensure you have a strong foundation and adequate savings, then decide what you can splurge on. This scenario is not unlike the position our state finds itself in after years of economic recovery and expansion.

Economic and tax revenue growth in Washington state has been extraordinary over the last decade.

So much so that state and local tax growth in Washington was the highest in the nation from 2015 to 2016. The state expects tax collections will top $50 billion for the first time during the next two-year budget cycle. That's $4 billion more than the last cycle and nearly $11 billion more than it had in 2015-17.

Washington has leveraged this growth to invest in important programs, dramatically increasing state funding for public education, for example.

But we need to recognize that this lottery-like period of growth is far from normal. And it has come at a time when Washington also steadily increased the cost of doing business here...

Read the guest commentary in The (Everett) Herald
Competitiveness Matters

Former Rep. Chandler: Inslee threat to prosperity

By Charles H. Featherstone in The Columbia Basin Herald

MOSES LAKE -- Gary Chandler has a message for Gov. Jay Inslee.

"Don't take away our opportunity to be competitive."

The drive for 100 percent clean energy would deprive the Pacific Northwest of its competitive edge on power prices, and the governor's proposed $4 billion in new taxes would hit the state's small business people particularly hard, Chandler said.

"The economy is good, but the economy is starting to slow," Chandler said. "Don't spend everything, don't tax everything."

Read the full story about Chandler's recent talk in The Columbia Basin Herald
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