For the second consecutive year, Forbes has awarded Utah the top spot on its annual "Best States for Business and Careers" list.
"Being again recognized by Forbes as the country's best state for business and careers is certainly an outstanding honor," said Governor Gary R. Herbert. "But it is no accident; it is the result of deliberate efforts to make Utah the most business-friendly state. While accolades are gratifying, the ultimate fruits of our labors are accelerated economic growth for our state and more jobs for Utah's citizens."
A leading publication for business leaders across America and the world, Forbes chose Utah in part because of its economic consistency. According to the magazine, Utah was the only state that ranked among the top 15 states in each of the list's six criteria: Business Costs, Labor Supply, Regulatory Environment, Economic Climate, Growth Prospects and Quality of Life.
"Because Utah is able to consistently hit the lofty goals that are the hallmark of a high-performing economy, we have continued to grow over the past year," said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED). "We have consistently added jobs to the Utah economy, while simultaneously training current and next-generation workers to fill new and in-demand positions. Our focus on jobs is a large part of why Utah is still the best state in the nation for business."
Forbes pointed to numerous factors that make Utah the country's best performing economy for the second year running. Among those factors are energy costs, which are 31 percent below the national average; a five percent tax rate, which is lower than neighboring Arizona, Idaho and New Mexico; and job growth that has increased over the past five years, compared to the country's negative trend.
The magazine also noted several recent additions and expansions to Utah's business community, including Procter & Gamble, ITT Exelis, Home Depot and Boeing - all are companies that have worked with GOED and its economic development partners to bring new jobs to the state.
"Being ranked Best State for Business by Forbes two years in a row is validation of our public and private sector working together to create an environment for economic success," said Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of Economic Development Corporation of Utah. "This underscores what we at EDCUtah continue to hear from employers, that our two big advantages of stability and workforce are continuing to bring us the best companies in the world to employ the best workforce in the world."