Utah’s balanced approach strengthens economy


There’s an interesting dilemma across the country as new technologies emerge. Advancements in technology make life better in many ways but as machines and software take over more and more work, they are also taking jobs, which comes at a cost. But Utah is leading in striking a balance between the two.

“Rapid technological advances will spread a new wave of automation across the U.S., increasing unemployment, depressing American consumer spending and further shrinking the middle class,” says economist and corporate relocation expert Dr. Ron Pollina in the just-released Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2014, co-published with the American Economic Development Institute (www.aedi.us). “It is a Catch 22-we need automated manufacturing if we are to compete internationally, but this means fewer jobs.”

Pollina says the middle class will spend less on discretionary items, which will result in decreased income for businesses producing products and services for the domestic market, thereby pressuring these companies to lay off workers.

The good news: Utah is the leader among a handful of states that have shown exemplary leadership in growing their economies and employment base while countering these trends. We’ve done it by improving our business environment, adding new companies and growing existing companies.

Utah is a symbol of economic growth that other states should emulate.

“Under Gov. Gary Herbert’s leadership, Utah has held the top position for the third year in a row. In 2005, Utah ranked #23 and by 2012 it ranked #1 moving up in rank 22 places in only seven years,” Dr. Pollina explains. “Utah is a great example of what enlightened and motivated political leadership can accomplish with a solid plan. Like the early Utah pioneers, the recent political leaders of Utah have relied on their own ‘industry’ to prosper.”

The Pollina Corporate annual 50-state ranking indicates how well each state has or has not positioned itself to retain and create jobs, as well as sustain America’s middle class. Now in its eleventh edition, the study has also become an important tool for corporations to evaluate their current and future U.S. locations.

The Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2014 are:

1) Utah

2) Wyoming

3) Nebraska

4) Virginia

5) Kansas

6) North Dakota

7) Indiana

8) Missouri

9) South Carolina

10) South Dakota.

The study, considered the most comprehensive, unbiased and unvarnished by the economic development industry, is the “Gold Standard” for evaluating and ranking states based on 32 factors controlled by state government, including taxes, human resources, education, right-to-work legislation, energy costs, infrastructure spending, regulatory environment, workers compensation laws, economic incentive programs and state economic development efforts.

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