Online Schools in Washington
Washington's evolution from a logging past to a knowledge-based future is well underway, set in motion by local pioneers such as tech giant Microsoft. Today, the greater Seattle area is the commercial epicenter of the Pacific Northwest, with vibrant high tech, biotechnology and trade sectors. From Seattle to Spokane, Washington's career environment increasingly favors college graduates with the skills to manage, lead and innovate.
Living and working in Washington
Washington's economy is on the rebound after employment declines in 2009 and 2010. The State of Washington's 2011 Long-Term Economic and Labor Force Forecast predicts an annual average growth rate of 1.3 percent for the 2011 to 2030 period. Innovation in the state's diverse tech sectors and rising demand for health care are among the forces working in favor of Washington's recovery.
The State of Washington's 2011 forecast sees continued growth in professional and business services, including legal, accounting, engineering, software development, and research and development, with 2.9 percent average annual growth in the coming two decades. Manufacturing and logging are expected to continue to decline, however. Unemployment in Washington is still a relatively high 8.5 percent as of December 2011.
Life in Washington looks very different for residents west and east of the Cascades. College-level career opportunities are concentrated in western cities such as Olympia, Seattle and Tacoma. Cost of living is significantly higher than the national average in the west and much lower in the east. The ACCRA Cost of Living Index, which sets the national average at 100, ranks Seattle a high 123 and Spokane an affordable 93. Statewide, the average household income is a relatively high $56,479 and the median value of owner-occupied housing is $277,600, well above the $185,400 national average.
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