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Jon Talton

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

Category: Pacific Northwest economy
August 7, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Washington’s strong ‘consumer’ economy

The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis today released its first deep dig into state-by-state personal consumption expenditures going back to 1997. Washington turns in the strong performance one would expect from a prosperous state with a diverse economy. For example, per-capita expenditures here grew 3.6 percent from 2011 to 2012 vs. the national average of…


Comments | More in Consumer spending, Pacific Northwest economy

July 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Washington exports up in 2013 while Northwest flattens

Last week, I reported on how the region’s exports seem to be performing (very well) through May of this year. Now we have the official trade data for last year from the International Trade Administration of the Commerce Department. Washington clocked in $81.6 billion in exports compared with $75.7 billion in 2012. The nearly 8…


Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy, Trade | Topics: Washington exports, Washington trade

July 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Forty years of progress — or not

To the ongoing argument/search to understand how American opportunity has changed in recent decades, I recommend a new report from the groups Measure of America and Opportunity Nation. They take 16 metrics from 1970 to 2010 to give a deeper understanding of where the nation has made gains or faced headwinds. The Historical Report Opportunity Score…


Comments | More in Income/living standards, Pacific Northwest economy

June 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Hold the cheers on Seattle’s recovery

The Brookings Institution established its Metro Monitor program during the Late Unpleasantness to measure how the nation’s 100 metropolitan areas — the chief economic engines of America — were performing. First quarter 2014 data are out and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue comes in…so-so. • In total full- and part-time jobs, the metro area ranked 30th in the five years…


Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy

April 24, 2014 at 3:13 PM

How the Northwest stacks up in income growth

For the first time, the government has measured the inflation-adjusted living costs across states. With the national average being equal to 100, Washington came in at 103.2 in 2012, a relatively higher-cost state (of course, you get what you pay for: Mississippi was lowest). Oregon, by contrast, was 98.8; Idaho 93.6, and Alaska 107.1. You…


Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy

April 14, 2014 at 10:23 AM

In Oregon, digging out of a deep hole | Jon Talton

The Great Recession hit Oregon harder than any other state in the Northwest. Demand for durable goods plunged. The same happened for the state’s timber sector as housebuilding collapsed. And areas such as Bend were epicenters of overbuilding. Unemployment went from 5.2 percent in early 2008 to a peak of 11.6 percent in 2009. In February,…


Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy | Topics: Oregon econom

March 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Seattle turns in strong metro population growth

The Census Bureau today released its population numbers from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue ranked No. 10 in numeric growth, adding 57,514. No. 1 was metro Houston, at 137,692, followed by New York, Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles. King County was No. 4 nationally, adding 37,000, growing 1.8 percent. Houston’s Harris County led…


Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy | Topics: Demographics, Population

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