ALEC-Laffer Report Again Ranks Utah #1 for Economic Outlook

Michael Sullivan
GOED Communications Director

Ally Isom
Deputy Chief of Staff
Governor Gary R. Herbert

Large jump in economic indicators also drives state’ s top 10 ranking by CNBC

SALT LAKE CITY – For the fourth straight year, Utah was ranked #1 for Economic Outlook in the ALEC-Laffer Economic Competitiveness Index. The nationally recognized index is based on state economic policies and forecasts Utah’s economic leadership.

“I am very pleased to see Utah again listed as leading America into economic recovery,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “With our forward-thinking focus on jobs, education, and energy, I am not surprised to see Utah ranked first. When you couple our talented workforce and business- friendly environment with Utah’s unique mix of prudence and perseverance, you find economic vitality, and it’s gratifying to see the nation continue to recognize that fact.”

The Laffer report reviews such things as income tax progressivity, estate taxes, workers compensation costs, and tax expenditure limits, among fifteen total indicators. In reviewing states’ economic policies, the report’s authors note which policies lead to state economic growth and which economic policies states should avoid.

“Our #1 ranking means that Team Utah, which includes all Utahns, continues to execute on Governor Herbert’s plan and vision that ‘Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy’. One of the tangible benefits of Utah’s collaborative efforts includes the growth of quality jobs throughout the state,” said Spencer Eccles, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

Coincidentally, CNBC also issued its “America’s Top States for Business 2011” list. For the fifth consecutive year, Utah has been ranked in the top 10 states for business. CNBC looks at different indicators than those reviewed by ALEC-Laffer. CNBC ranks states based on ten criteria, including economy, workforce, and cost of doing business. CNBC noted in its report that Utah saw significant increases in access to capital, business friendliness, and education indicators, which helped push the state’s ranking higher.

Much of Utah’s continued appeal lies in the state’s strong economy. Since Governor Herbert took office in August 2009, his priority has been improving Utah’s business environment, focusing on his four cornerstones of economic development: job creation, education, energy development, and self-determination.

About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. Utah’s economic development vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business destination. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission. For more information please contact: Michael Sullivan, 801-538-8811 or