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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
September 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM

State’s income stagnant in 2013, poverty rises

First the good news: Washington’s median household income remains above the national average. The bad: It barely moved from 2012 to 2013. This information comes from a Census Bureau data dump today that also showed Seattle with the largest rent increase among major cities. That fits because Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue saw its median household income rise…

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Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy | Topics: Household income, inequality, poverty

September 16, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Seattle GDP posts strong showing

Gross domestic product for Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue totaled nearly $285 billion in 2013, making us the 11th largest metro in the nation by output. Growth was also relatively strong at 2.4 percent. By comparison, GDP adjusted for inflation for all 381 metro areas in the nation was only 1.7 percent. Still. it was slower than the 4.7 percent…

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August 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Yes, we’re still shipping logs

Logging is the most legacy of the Pacific Northwest’s legacy industries, but it’s still here, especially thanks to the appetite from Asia. According to a recent report by the North American Wood Fiber Review, North American log exports in the first quarter were 14 percent higher than the same period in 2013. The U.S. Northwest…

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Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy | Topics: logging, Plum Creek Timber, Weyerhaeuser

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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