(Courtesy Utah.gov)

Forbes Magazine Names Utah #1 ‘Best State For Business And Careers’

Today we are pleased to announce that the State of Utah has climbed to the top spot in Forbes Magazine's annual ranking of "Best State's for Businesses and Careers".

Utah ranks No. 1 in the report, released Wednesday, bumping Virginia from its four-year reign in the top spot. Among the factors that placed the Beehive State at the top are:

• Annual economic expansion of 3.5% over the past five years
• Annual total employment increase of 1.5%
• Annual increase in household income of 5%
• Decrease of corporate tax rate from 7% to 5%
• Energy costs that are 35% below the national average

“While magazine rankings do not tell the whole story, they certainly create a narrative that shows Utah has all the elements that make us a successful place to start or expand a business and a desirable location to live and raise a family,” Governor Herbert said. “Several years ago, we made a conscious decision to make economic development a priority. We have since consistently climbed in the rankings and, in the past year, our leadership pushed Utah to the top of the list.”

Forbes’ “Best States” ranking measures six categories for business: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

Utah’s rankings in those categories are:

• Business Costs: 8
• Labor Supply: 5
• Regulatory Environment: 6
• Economic Climate: 1
• Growth Prospects: 20
• Quality of Life: 18

In announcing this year’s results, Forbes noted that while states across the nation have suffered as a result of the national economic downturn, some states, like Utah, have weathered the downturn better than others. The magazine notes: “But some areas are doing better than others, and for many of them, it isn't an accident. Who's doing the best job when it comes to fostering growth? Utah.”