For Immediate Release: July 2, 2001
Seattle – Washington’s startup companies provide the second highest employment growth rate in the U.S.
This according to a new report just released by Washington Technology Center — the 2001 Index of Innovation and Technology for Washington State. Washington’s rate increased to 33 percent over five years, thus moving the state from sixth place to second place.
The state’s innovation and entrepreneurial economy is thriving. This report presents quantitative information about more than 30 key indicators that establish a benchmark for assessing progress in Washington’s growing technology-based economy. From these indicators, several conclusions can be drawn.
Most importantly, Washington’s young and growing companies continue to provide much of the growth in the state’s economy.
Several trends reported in last year’s index are reinforced this year:
— Capital investment in Washington companies is growing, but at a rate much slower than in other regions of the country. Overall during the past two years, growth in venture investment has grown at slightly more than half the rate of the other major regions.
— Workforce issues remain challenging for companies. However, the extreme difficulty in filling technology job openings has decreased over the past two years.
— Most of Washington’s technology employment is found in the central Puget Sound region, especially the western portion of King County. Employment in technology industries is increasing in most other regions of the state, but still remains a minority share overall.
— Washington’s economy continues to rely heavily on trade. Washington has the highest per-capita trade sector of any of the major exporting states. Almost three-fourths of this trade is related to technology products–aircraft and software.
— Washington’s higher education institutions are producing, in aggregate, fewer graduates in science and engineering than a few years ago. This, in spite of the fact that the demand for these graduates is rapidly increasing.
— Overall, Washington’s quality of life continues to be an attractive feature of the state. Transportation issues are the biggest threat.
“Washington’s reputation as a global technology region is certainly supported by the findings in this report,” said Dr. Lee Cheatham, WTC executive director and co-author of the report. “Our challenge is to maintain that leadership position and spread its effects to the state’s entire economy.”
The report is co-authored by Dr. Paul Sommers, senior research fellow with the UW Northwest Policy Center and a member of Governor Locke’s Council of Economic Advisors.
Related WTC links:
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