Calculating the Future – Innovation in Spokane

Calculating the Future. Great article by Daniel Walters of the Inlander. You should read it! Accurately documents the problems and accurately describes the hopes and opportunities.

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Affordable Care Act may harm Spokane’s economy

There is an assumption that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare[1]) will lead to an increase in health care usage and this will be a boost to Spokane’s economy, which has a large health care segment.

Based on recent news reports, ObamaCare might be an economic mess for Spokane as there are forecasts that low wage jobs will see loss of employer provided health care benefits. That does mean this will happen for sure – it is just one hypothesis that some have proposed. Read the full set of headlines, below (and click through to read the original articles). Updates are added at the top of the list as recent news seems to confirm this trend.

Updates December 2013:

Updates April 24 2013:

Since this was originally written:

Updates Feb 5-9 2013:

Original Items

How might this impact Spokane? Read more after the break…

Spokane Economic Indicators Update

Employment

The State’s “adjusted” numbers through October show a sizable increase in local employment, which if real, is good.

The State’s local labor economist says its due to private sector job growth – but then cites construction projects done for the government as examples of private sector job growth, and  leaves out the SIA snow equipment building, the Felts airport paving, north side freeway construction and so on. Is it really private sector job growth when the work is  funded by the government? Per GSI’s  local economic status reported by Avista economist Grant Forsyth, government accounts for 55% of the $s spent on permitted construction in 2012. About half of Spokane’s economic activity comes directly or indirectly from the government.

Here’s the US Bureau of Labor Statistics “raw” data for Spokane County prior to adjustment, and only through September (October raw data not yet available).  Prior to “local adjustment” the BLS trend line is still going down:

More on Unemployment, Avista’s review of the local economy, and Airport trends.

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Spokane ranks 53d out of 59 Washington cities for income

Washington’s richest — and poorest — cities – seattlepi.com.

In a ranking of Washington cities by median family income, Spokane ranks 53d lowest out of 59 cities and that is really sad for the State’s 2nd largest city.

Unless you work for the local government where pay outpaces the local median.

Previous: Comparison of Spokane versus King County wages

Employment survey ranks Spokane worst metro area out of 100

Employment survey ranks Spokane worst metro area out of 100 | KREM.com Spokane.

Everyone see’s what’s happening (read the comments). Its bad. A national ranking just ranked Spokane dead last. That is frustrating.

“6 Things That Can Kill Your City’s Startup Community”

6 Things That Can Kill Your Citys Startup Community.

The co-founder of TechStars explains why communities fail to have an entrepreneurship community. He lists six broad categories that hinder startup and economic growth – and incredibly, Spokane ranks high on all six categories (most of which have been previously written about on this blog – See the History of Spokane Economic Plans and Recommendations, in links to right of this page).

This seems a reasonable summary that matches up with Spokane and may give hints as to how to overcome the problems …

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