Tech Industries in the West Continue to Lead State Economic Growth

Washington state led the nation in economic output growth for a third year in a row between 2017 and 2018, growing its state gross domestic product by almost 6%.
by | May 6, 2019 AT 7:32 AM
Amazon's headquarters in Seattle. (Shutterstock)

By Tim Henderson

The West and its tech boom continued to dominate economic growth among states last year, according to federal Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates released Wednesday.

Washington state led the nation in economic output growth for a third year in a row between 2017 and 2018, growing its state gross domestic product by almost 6%. Utah, Idaho and Arizona followed at about 4% growth.

Alaska, which has been in a recession since 2015, was the only state to suffer a loss, of about one-third of 1% in the inflation-adjusted measure.

Washington’s technology industry, which includes giants such as Amazon and Microsoft, is still hiring as fast as it can find qualified workers, according to a state commerce department report last August.

The computer technology and information services industries led two other states with fast-growing economies: California and Colorado, which both grew 3%, as well as New York, which grew 2.1%. National GDP grew 2.9%.

Utah’s growth was led by professional services such as local businesses that provide services for startups. In Idaho, manufacturing of mostly computer and electronics equipment boosted growth.

Stateline | Nonpartisan, Nonprofit News Service of the Pew Charitable Trusts | editor@stateline.org  |  @pewstates