It’s no secret that Utah is one of the top-performing states in the country. The most recent accolades come from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Enterprising States report, which indicates that Utah is the top overall performer for 2014.
In Enterprising States, Utah landed in the top six in each of the five policy categories and ranked 3rd in overall economic performance, making it the only state to finish in the top 10 on all six lists.
To quote the Enterprising States report:
Utah’s economy remained stronger than those of most other states during 2013. According to Utah’s Workforce Research and Analysis Division of the Department of Workforce Services, one major driver of this strength is the state’s robust mixture and diversity of industries. Utah’s economy has been consistently ranked as one of the nation’s most diverse (4th for 2012 data) with manufacturing in the northern Wasatch Front, a varied services sector in Salt Lake County, the tech hub in Provo-Orem, mining/oil and gas in the eastern region, and leisure and hospitality in Summit County and in south-southeastern Utah.
Utah ranked particularly well in short-term job growth (2nd), long-term job growth (3rd), gross state product growth (3rd), higher education degree output (3rd), STEM job growth (4th), business birthrate (4th), and in the top five in all of the export categories, which is a pleasant surprise considering Utah is a land-locked state.
The Enterprising States report was released at the Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The report takes an in-depth look at the priorities, policies and programs of the 50 states that are vital for job growth and economic prosperity. Each state is evaluated and ranked for its overall job growth and economic performance and its performance across five policy areas:
- Exports and international trade
- Technology and entrepreneurship
- Business climate
- Talent pipeline
This year’s study related those policies and practices to the need for collaboration between education, workforce development, and economic development to combat the nation’s growing skills gap, the report stated.