Best of the West: Western jobs rising, ski legend Warren Miller passes away, futuristic snow predictions

The Western Governors' Association keeps you updated on news of the West. Here are the western stories for the week starting January 22, 2018, that you don't want to miss. Photo: The Seattle Times 

Job growth was on the rise across the country in 2017, particularly in western states. According to Labor Department employment data, seven of the top ten states for growth are in the West, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Texas and Colorado.

Nevada experienced the top growth of any state, a 3.3 percent gain over the last 12-month period, with construction, education, health, professional and business services contributing the most jobs. 

The West also fared well in the Milken Institute’s latest Best Performing Cities index, a measurement of which metro areas offer the greatest opportunities for prosperity and innovation. In all, 6 of the top 10 best performing large cities are in the West. Explore the rankings and download the report.  

Warren Miller dies at 93: Legendary snow-sports filmmaker Warren Miller passed away this week following a decades-long career inspiring adventure in the outdoors. This story by the Seattle Times includes a photo slideshow and tribute to the self-taught cinematic pioneer who created more than 500 films.

Powder Predictions: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers have demonstrated they can predict snow levels in the West some eight months in advance. Learn more about the results, which have significant implications for agriculture and water managers, in the study. Also: Across the West, snowpack is still low, should we be worried?

Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Cruise Along: A new AAA survey shows American drivers are still cautious about self-driving cars, but gradually warming up to the technology. In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the release of the Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan, which is designed to build out a fast-charging network for electric vehicles across the state.

Renewable Energy Windfall: Wind power is expected to pass hydroelectricity as the largest share of renewable electricity generation in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. Texas, California, Kansas and Oklahoma are among the leading states for wind energy production

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