Utah’s economy ranks among the top five in the nation according to a study Enterprising States released today. The report ranks Utah second among the top “boom” states best positioned to grow, create jobs and prosper over the next 5-10 years.
“The U.S. Chamber is leading the charge to strengthen the American economy,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and a member of the U.S. Chamber’s Board of Governors. “We’ve shown in Utah that creating an environment in which businesses can thrive is critical to economic growth.”
“The federal government has something to learn from these enterprising states,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “If you want jobs and growth, you need to create an environment where private-sector businesses, entrepreneurs, and capital are welcome and can grow and thrive.”
The Enterprising States study highlights specific strategies that all 50 states are employing to remain competitive and restore jobs. Specifically, it found that states with demonstrable growth are pursuing policies that foster an enterprise-friendly business environment–a key to Utah’s growth.
Utah ranked in second in the nation in both export growth and “business birth rate”–the rate at which new businesses are created. The Beehive State also ranked in the top five in ten other categories: long term-job growth (3), short-term job growth (3), gross state product growth (3), growth in share of national exports (3), higher-ed efficiency (3), export intensity growth (4), STEM job growth (4), export intensity (5) and bridge quality (5).
“In Utah, we do what the nation should do,” said Beattie citing the state’s investment in transportation infrastructure, the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative while balancing the budget and protecting a Triple-A credit rating. “We live within our means and we invest in areas that foster growth. It sounds simple but it requires extraordinary leadership and discipline.”
That discipline is paying off. While other states were scrambling to make ends meet, Utah was investing–gaining economic marketshare from other states. Utah ranked in the top ten in 19 categories–more than any other state.
Utah added 25,000 jobs in the past year with an unemployment rate more than two points lower than the national rate.
For the most top 25 rankings, Utah tied Texas, which is the nation’s fastest growing state and largest exporter by volume. The favorable rankings indicate an economic equation for success derived from strong business and job growth momentum plus a favorable policy approach that was boosted by the modification of some 368 outdated and unnecessary regulations.
A major reason behind Utah’s economic rebound and future economic outlook is policymaking that supports growth of Silicon Slopes, international trade, and the USTAR initiative. Utah’s well-educated and multi-lingual workforce combined with comparatively reasonable operating costs make Utah attractive to the burgeoning technology sector.
You can read the full study here.