Spokane Economy: We Have Money Here, or Do We?

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The Spokane economy fluctuates with the national economy, just like any other city. However, there are certain things that affect our economy harder than in other places.It is true that homes in Spokane are relatively cheap compare to others part of U.S. However, Spokane seems to high cost of food, gas, and clothing.Washington has the highest taxes when it comes to fuel, this make local residents feel the pinch a little harder than in other places. I know my neighbor drives his motor home to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho (about 15 to 20 minutes East on I-90) just because he gets a better price.I have never done that myself, but compared to what my family pays for a thank of gas in Los Angeles, Spokane gas prices are not much better (usually about 5 cents cheaper).Since gas prices are not the only thing that affects the Spokane economy, I should also tell you that Spokane’s geographic location makes it hard for goods to make it to the mall.My point: clothing in Spokane is relatively expensive compare to Seattle.My family and I shop for clothing here only when necessary, we usually go to Seattle to get what we need. As attorneys, it is kind of hard to get suits here (particularly for Casey). Don’t get me wrong, You can find clothing here, however you will be paying higher prices.The next problem here is that you will not find all sizes. You will find the average size, and that is about it (too tall, too skinny, big shoes, small shoes, etc. Again, harder to find).It is difficult to find a variety of high fashion styles, however after some digging around; you can probably get what you need. If everything else fails, there is the internet!There is no state income here (unlike Idaho). That helps a little. There are however sales tax, the rate today is 8.8%. It is pretty high (in my opinion), but not as bad as Seattle which can be up to 9.2% (depending on what you are buying, since there is food and beverages taxes over there).One of the biggest complaints around here is that the sales tax ad-ons (the WA sales tax is supposed to be 6.7%, but cities, counties, and proposals have been added to that amount) are only there to pay for the roads in Seattle. Eastern Washingtonians do not like to see all (ok most of it) of their money spend on the West side of the state.The Spokane economy gets a lot of flack for not having enough jobs for everyone. The unemployment rate here is usually a full percent or more above tha national average). Data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, look for Spokane economy.I think the problem is really not the job situation, but what people would hope to get paid for those jobs. Spokane jobs pay okay for the Spokane economy, but they certainly do not compare to wages you would find in Houston, Dallas, Washington D.C., L.A. etc.Overall, I am satisfied here. I will not find a job that pays six figures here, but for the standard of living, you can afford a nice home in a nice area, and have a very decent standard of living.