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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

October 12, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Washington still feels stress amid fragile recovery, especially in jobs

Washington, like most other states, continues to struggle to add jobs, according to a new report from the FDIC. The 4 percent drop in payroll employment here as of 2009 far exceeds the nosedive of 2002. Since then, the state saw a 3.2 percent decline in this year’s first quarter and a 1.1 percent drop in the second quarter. That compares with declines of 2.4 percent and 0.5 percent nationally.

Other stats: Personal income growth of 2.5 percent statewide in the second quarter was far below the 8.6 percent clocked in the 4th quarter of 2007. Median family income of $70,400 outpaced the national average of $64,400 nationally. The personal bankruptcy filing rate per 1,000 has come down to a below-average 8.2 percent in the first quarter from 47 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

And while the residential real-estate numbers show a relative recovery vs. the rest of the nation, the overall picture is one of a struggling expansion.

If there’s any silver lining, it’s a general rebound in commodity prices, which benefits Washington’s farmers, exporters and port activity.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

What will the Fed do?

More quantitative easing?

It’s only money

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