Indexer Taking A Nap
The Puget Sound Indexer was active from April 2020 to April 2021. Although it is not being updated regularly, there is still quite a bit of good content about the Puget Sound region that you may find useful. The editor may emerge from his other activities to pick up where he left off.
Housing: It’s More Than Apartments!
Most Americans don’t live in multi-family housing and the supply of single family houses is not keeping up with demand. Yet housing policy solutions always seem to steer back to…
You Bought a Car. Who Gets The Sales Tax?
Dealers in Fife recorded over a half a billion dollars in vehicle sales in 2019, and the city collected over $1,000 per household in taxes on those sales. In contrast,…
The High Price of Low Rent
We are starting to see an equalization of rents across the region, with rents falling in expensive areas and rising in less expensive areas. This equalization will be brutal for…
Housing Booming All Over—But Not In Washington
All of the subregions of the country, including the slow-growing Northeast, saw an increase in single family permits in 2020 over 2019. But, somehow Washington State missed the memo.
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How America Stays Warm
In the quest to wean the nation off of fossil fuels, one imperative will remain non-negotiable: people want to stay warm in the winter. Central heat is one of civilization’s…
Sorry, But We’re Not Number One
Irresistible click-bait hit screens across Washington last week, as US News and World Report declared that Washington is the Best State in America. And, woe to Louisiana, the Worst State…
The Superstar Cities—the Gated Cities of the Coast—are in full-throated panic over signs that the jig is up: they cannot keep luring high priced talent to work in tech firms…
Manufacturing Rebounds in a Hurry
In January and February of this year, manufacturing indices were just about where they were in early 2020, when adjusted for inflation.
2020 State GDP–We’re Number Two!
While not a single state had real GDP growth in 2020, Washington experienced the second smallest decline. And in nominal terms, without adjusting for inflation, the state’s economy actually grew…
Sales Taxes: Who Got Hammered In 2020 And Who Didn’t
Countywide (including unincorporated areas) sales tax collections were down about 9 percent for the year. But quite a number of cities had either very small losses or actual gains. The…
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Yep, We Saved It All
Congress threw a stimulus party an nobody came: we didn’t spend the money. In the same month that Congress showered us with $138.4 billion, in the form of $600 checks,…
Transit At Year End: Flat But Not Broke
If work-from-home becomes more of the norm, there will be less traffic congestion and likely lower parking costs, taking away transit’s two main competitive advantages. Tax revenues will recover, so…
Retail in 2020: The Big Shift
Total retail sales in 2020 were down about 2 percent from what we might have expected in the absence of the pandemic. Within the overall retailing category, however, there were…
Covid: Recovering From The Holidays
The downward trend in the summer began to reverse itself as people went back indoors, and health authorities feared the impact of holiday travel and gatherings later in the fall.
School Enrollments: Where the Kids Are
Just as overall population growth is unevenly distributed around the region, so is growth in school enrollments. And the two are not as closely related as you might think.
Impact of $15 Minimum Wage: Depends Where You Are
Economists have performed a huge number of studies on the minimum wage and the results are all over the place. Some results show a drop in labor demand and others…
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Pedestrian Safety and the Nirvana Fallacy
Looked at this way, we might see our traffic system not as a failure, but as a remarkable success. Cars and pedestrians share spaces millions of times each day and…
Strike Out. The Decline of Work Stoppage
The most powerful tool in the arsenal of organized labor has always been work stoppage, or strikes. But this tool has declined precipitously in American life.