This editorial appeared in The (Tacoma) News Tribune.
A new report has confirmed something Boeing figured out some time back: For the aerospace industry, Washington has lost much of its charm.
Done by Deloitte Consulting for Snohomish County's economic development council, the report surveys the state's competitive assets and concludes that "its disadvantages outweigh the advantages in attracting and retaining aerospace companies."
That conclusion is hard to argue with.
As Deloitte points out, Washington still has a lot going for it. Compared to rivals – South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas and Kansas – it has the largest force of skilled aerospace workers, the most educated labor pool, the lowest property tax and the best quality of life.
But it also has the highest cost of living, the highest construction costs, the highest labor costs, the most days lost to strikes and the most expensive workers compensation system.
Note what those disadvantages have in common: cost. Combined, they add up to a huge liability at a time when airlines are squeezed for money to buy jets with; a time when Airbus has surpassed Boeing in productivity.
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