Seattle gains ground in Milken Institute’s annual ranking, but another Washington metro leaps ahead

Washington state saw considerable growth in Milken Institute’s 2024 Best Performing Cities ranking, with Seattle moving from spot 34 to 24 and the Olympia-Tumwater metro leaping to ninth overall, a 33-spot leap from 2023.

Milken Institute, a nonpartisan nonprofit, bases the report on 13 factors of economic resiliency, including economic opportunity access, performance in the labor market and high-tech industries. The data is collected from various sources.

Seattle received praise for its technology position, flourishing job market and ability to respond effectively to natural disasters or potential economic downturns.

Olympia-Tumwater, which Milken Institute names a “Tier 1” city, was applauded for growing the country’s high-tech industry gross domestic product, as well as for its low rates of income equality. Olympia’s professional and business services sector saw a 29% increase in jobs since 2020, creating an influx of nearly 8,000 private service-providing industry jobs.

Other top-ranking cities in 2024 include Austin, Texas, Boise, Idaho and Raleigh, North Carolina.

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