Formation of new businesses ⁠— as indicated by applications for federal tax IDs ⁠— has rebounded strongly for the U.S. as a whole. In Washington state, however, the bounce is more measured.

The pace contrasts with how business starts were going before the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S.

In February, Washington state saw a bigger increase over last year’s business starts than the nation as a whole did.

Now, the U.S. rate is well ahead of last year, while the state is just above the year-ago pace. One reason may be that many states were quicker to re-open their economies than Washington — though with new COVID-19 cases now rising quickly in some of those states, the jury is still out on which approach will ultimately prove best for the economy.

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