Energy extraction and development is one of the keys to Utah's strong economy.
Independent research by Pollina Corporate Real Estate puts Utah at the top of its list of Ten Pro Business States for 2013.
"Pollina's #1 ranking comes as no surprise," said Governor Gary R. Herbert. "Utah is open and ready for business. Taxes are low, entrepreneurial spirit is high, and our skilled work force is educated and highly motivated."
Brent Pollina, Vice President of Park Ridge, Illinois-based Pollina Corporate Real Estate and co-author of the 2013 study, said, "America's most pro-business state for the second consecutive year and again making it the brightest star on the American Flag. Utah is a symbol of economic growth and prosperity that other states should emulate."
In 2011, Governor Herbert initiated a review of the State's then 1,969 administrative rules. It resulted in the revision or elimination of some 368 rules that inhibited business growth. The Governor challenged the Utah business community to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days. At the half way mark, Utah has created 63,600 jobs and the unemployment rate of 4.6 percent is far below the national average. Jobs are growing jobs at 2.6 percent, nearly twice the national rate.
The Pollina Top 10 study is considered a "Gold Standard" for evaluating states. The research identifies states with exemplary pro-business policies that counteract the effects of economic instability. The authors of the study point to Utah as a guidepost, not only for other state governments, but also for the federal government.
According to the report's co-author, Utah is the first state west of the Mississippi to rank number one, affirming the Beehive State's role as a regional leader at the "Crossroads of the West" in several key areas of economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship.
"Utah first broke into Pollina's Top Ten study several years ago. Governor Herbert's leadership has fostered the success that has elevated Utah to its #1 ranking," said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. "Utah maintains strong public-private collaboration, budgetary discipline and a commitment to an ongoing talent pipeline."
The Pollina Corporate annual study was co-published with the American Economic Development Institute. The comprehensive report analyzes a state's pro-business environment across 32 individual measures that state governments control, including taxation, human resources, economic incentive programs and state economic development efforts.
Specific measures that helped determine Utah's top ranking included right-to-work legislation, business tax structures, energy costs and educational attainment rates.