This year is the sixth in which Forbes surveyed all the states in the union to decipher
which of the fifty offers the best deals for businesses as a place to set up shop.
Best State for Business and Careers
Once again Utah tops the list as this year’s “Forbes Best State for Business and Careers.” According to the survey, “No state can match the consistent performance of Utah.” Utah, known for Mormon culture, great skiing and beautiful scenery is also the only state which ranks among the top 15 states in each one of the six main categories in which Forbes rates the states.
The Good News
Some of Utah’s performance highlights are:
• Energy costs 31% below the national average
• Employment growth averaging 0.6% per year over the past five years
• Corporate tax rate below its western neighbors New Mexico, Idaho and Arizona of 5%
• Ranked 6th in a new Tax Foundation study of the tax burden on business in each state across a variety of industrial sectors
Big Companies are Flocking Over
The favorable climate for business in Utah is being noticed among the country’s businesses, too. Home Depot, Boeing, ITT, and Procter & Gamble are all planning expansions to Utah this coming year. The Salt Lake City office of Goldman Sachs is their second biggest in both North and South America, employing more than 1,000 people. They are expecting further expansion over the coming four years.
High Tech Haven
Utah is already a favorite for high-tech companies. It is seen as an affordable alternative to offices in California, with 10% less businesses expenses in Utah over the rest of the country. Adobe Systems, eBay, Electronic Arts and Oracle have all heeded the call and expanded their operations to Utah in the past few years.
Also luring businesses out to Utah is the fact that Utah has one of the fastest growing populations in the country, providing an expanding workforce.
“Utah has a young, dynamic economy with a vibrant high-tech sector,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.