Earlier this week, my colleague Janet Tu wrote about how Washington has been among the most unbalanced among the states in a recovery where all the gains have gone to the 1 percent. Today we can dig deeper into where the state stands with the new Asset and Opportunity Scorecard from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a nonprofit that focuses on increasing opportunity for low-income families.
Overall, Washington ranked 14th nationally, two spots better than last year. We received a B grade in Financial Assets and Income; A in Business and Jobs; C in Housing and Homeownership; C in Healthcare, and A in Education.
The Scorecard looks at 67 measures in five separate areas (Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care and Education). Here’s how Washington fared in some of them:
- Third in the number of households with savings accounts, with 82 percent vs. 69 percent of households nationally. But the state ranked 44th in credit-card debt.
- Third in low-wage jobs, at 11.3 percent of all jobs compared with more than 25 percent nationally.
- Ninth in average annual pay, at $51,405 vs. $49,808 nationally.
- Only 47.1 percent of employers offered health insurance compared with nearly 50 percent nationally. Washington ranked 37th.
- Forty-second in homeownership rates. This is partly because of affordability challenges. The median home value of a home is 4.3 times higher than median income.
- Even though the state received an A in the Business and Jobs category, it ranked 47th in microenterprise ownership.
- Seventh in math proficiency and eighth in reading, helping the state earn an A in Education. Forty-two percent of Washington eighth graders were proficient in those areas compared with 36 percent nationally.
Alaska ranked seventh overall, followed by Idaho 12th and Oregon 22nd. Low-population Wyoming, benefiting from an energy boom, ranked first, followed by Vermont.
Today’s Econ Haiku:
Jobless claims are low
The lowest since 2000
You want fries with that?