Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF), the Salt Lake Chamber, and Gov. Gary R. Herbert came together to celebrate Utah as the best performing state overall for the past two years in the USCCF’s national Enterprising States study, and to release a state-specific report outlining Utah’s leadership in driving economic growth. The Utah: Collaboration as the Foundation for Growth report offers an in-depth review of the policies being implemented to address economic performance and job growth in the state.
“Utah is proof that if you pursue the right policies, take a balanced approach, and commit to working collaboratively, you can get great results,” said John R. McKernan Jr., president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and former governor of Maine. “Utah is on the right track in ushering in a new era of prosperity, and there is much for other states to learn from Utah’s success.”
In Enterprising States 2014 Utah was the only state that ranked in the top 10 in all six major categories, including economic performance, exports, technology and entrepreneurship, business climate, talent pipeline, and infrastructure. Utah: Collaboration as the Foundation for Growth delves further into Utah’s success in building economic opportunity and outlines the state’s strength in the areas of job growth for high-tech and middle-skill jobs. The report shows that Utah saw 20.9 percent growth in middle-skill jobs between 2001 and 2014, nearly 11 times the national average and second only to North Dakota. Moreover, the state saw a 77 percent increase in high-tech job growth between 2004 and 2014.
“In Utah, we respect the power of the free market and we work to empower the private sector,” Gov. Gary R. Herbert said. “The recognition of Utah as the best overall economic performing state the past two consecutive years is further evidence that what we are doing is paying off and solidifying our position as an economic leader.”
Other highlights from the report include:
● Utah has set an example for great statewide cooperation and coalition building with its C2+E2 (Collaboration and Coordination + Efficiency and Effectiveness=Success). Under this program, economic and political leaders work together to create a system that is more than the sum of its parts.
● The state is a leader in STEM jobs, ranking 4th among all states in STEM job growth and 13th in STEM job concentration. Between 2004 and 2014, Utah saw double-digit percentage growth in a wide variety of STEM jobs, including a 36 percent boost in computer occupations and 38 percent rise in careers in mathematical sciences.
● Utah ranks 4th among U.S. states in the number of startups seeded. Nearly 11 percent of all businesses in the state are considered new, according to figures from 2012.
“This recognition reflects our work to create a thriving and diverse economy,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber.
“We are fortunate to have a young and vibrant talent pool. Our exports are increasing, and we have a thriving tech sector. We are reaping the benefits of both public and private infrastructure investments made during the recession. Utah is fortunate to have both a governor and legislature who are business-minded. Add an engaged business community and we believe we have found a formula for success in Utah.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy.
www.uschamber.com @USChamber www.freeenterprise.com
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