Washington economy earns two more top state rankings

Business Insider magazine placed Washington #1 among U.S. state economies and second only to the District of Columbia. The publication looked at unemployment rate, job growth, per-capita GDP, GDP growth, average weekly wages and wage growth to determine the rankings.

Also out this month: for the fourth year, arts and culture industries grew nationwide, with Washington D.C., Washington state and New York filling the top three spots as the “artsiest” state economies.

While arts and cultural activity grew for the fourth year, contributing $764 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, this is the first time the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has compiled state level data.

Total arts and cultural activity accounts for 4.2 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. The data include a range of industries from performing arts, to broadcasting, to arts-related construction. Publishing – including software – and retail are also included, putting Amazon and Microsoft in the mix here.

The “creative economy” in Washington employs over 207,000 people at an average annual salary of more than $51K. The ArtsWA Certified Creative Districts program works to help communities thrive by supporting the creative economy.

Read more about Certified Creative Districts and see how Commerce is strengthening communities through the Building for the Arts program.

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