The Olympia metropolitan area ranks as one of the top places in the country for business and careers, according to a new Forbes magazine study.
The study ranks Olympia 10th out of the 200 largest metropolitan areas in the country. The Olympia metro area, which comprises all of Thurston County with its population of 233,000, ranked high because of its 2 percent population growth — twice the national average — and growth in jobs and income in the past five years, according to the study.
One of the Olympia area’s strengths is that state government has given the area a stable economy, Portland, Ore.-based researcher Bert Sperling said. Another factor is that it is conveniently located between Seattle and Portland for shopping and other amenities.
Not all of the Forbes study’s findings were flattering.
The cost of doing business in the Olympia metro area resulted in a ranking of 113, according to the study. Association of Washington Business spokesman Richard Davis said Washington is considered a high-cost state for businesses.
According to Davis, Washington businesses:
• Pay about 51 percent of all state and local taxes
• Have high unemployment insurance taxes
• Have high labor costs
Some South Sound residents were skeptical of the Forbes study.
Read Robust business growth puts Olympia on Forbes’ list
by Rolf Boone and Jim Szymanski ~ The Olympian ~ April 10, 2007