We stay in the elite among top technology locations. This is a great advantage in today's economy.

Share story

Any place that stands a chance at landing Amazon’s HQ2 had better come off well in the State New Economy Index, a gold-standard measure by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation think tank. In the report released today, Washington ranks third behind Massachusetts and California. That’s one rung higher than 2014.

That matters in an era where five tech giants stand astride the economy — and two of them are headquartered in the Seattle area. IT jobs increased by 35 percent between 2006 and 2016, while overall private-sector employment grew only 6 percent. The report also notes that strong IT-enabled service exports contributed to the 20 percent expansion in services exports from 2011 to 2016.

The index measures 25 economic indicators, including high-tech jobs, venture capital, investment in research and development, percentage of business startups and failures, and use of the digital economy.

The top 10 states round out with Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Colorado, New Jersey, Utah and Connecticut. Consider this a cheat-sheet for HQ2 potential. Mississippi was last. In the Northwest, Alaska ranked No. 42 — a 10-point drop from 2014; Idaho No. 29, down five, and Oregon No. 13, two points better.

“A defining trend of this economic era is the way innovative new technologies drive productivity and competitiveness in everything from agriculture and mining to professional services. That affects all state and regional economies, regardless of their particular areas of focus,” according to Robert D. Atkinson, the foundation’s president and co-author of the report.

You can read the report and download the tables here.


Today’s Econ Haiku:

Wilbur at Commerce

Doing commerce with Russia

That makes me so Vlad