Why Utah Keeps Adding Jobs

Utah jobs "Go West, young man," American newspaper editor Horace Greeley once famously said, capturing a national ethos that the country's future lies on that coast. Of course, the spirit of the 19th Century saying has long been embodied by the fortunes of California. But with the Golden State struggling amid the recession more than most of its counterparts, and dragging the entire region down with it, perhaps it is time for California to step aside as the symbol of Western dynamism.

Enter Utah?

In the past two weeks alone, the 45th state to enter the union has announced 3,400 new jobs to be created in-state, thanks to tech companies choosing the Beehive State over potential rivals. On June 9, the aircraft armament firm ITT Corporation announced that it will create 2,700 jobs for highly skilled aerospace engineers. On June 20, the data storage company EMC Corporation said it plans to hire 500 people to work in customer service while IM Flash Technologies also announced it will need 200 people to staff a memory chip plant based in Utah.

And while many of the jobs will take years to come to fruition, the news is being welcomed by state officials as a testament to the Utah formula.

"There's a laundry list of reasons for why this is happening," says Marty Carpenter, spokesman for the statewide Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, in an interview with AOL Jobs. "We have the lowest energy rates in the country. We have a very young work force. But it's also our strong economic reputation. You'd be hard-pressed to find a state that's better managed its funds in the recession." (Energy costs are on average 35 percent lower in Utah than the national average; census estimates say Utah has the youngest population in the union.)

To buttress his beehive boosterism, Carpenter points out that Utah still has a rainy day fund of $200 million dollars to fall back on even as numerous states confront crippling shortfalls. And its overall growth rate of 3.5 percent from 2005 to 2010 made it second in the nation over that period (after North Dakota), says Forbes magazine. (Such figures should only help the incipient presidential bid of Jon Huntsman, governor of the state from 2005 to 2009.)

The view of Utah as a particularly vibrant state has also been embraced by a series of recent studies and reports. Forbes picked Utah as the best state for business in the magazine's annual survey, highlighting its corporate tax rate of 5 percent. And on the same day of the announcements by EMC and IM Flash, the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program ranked Salt Lake City as the top performing city in the nation, as measured by its 8.3 percent growth in gross metropolitan product from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2011.

And while many other aspects of Utah's culture allow the state to stand out, such as an unusually large international and multilingual community thanks in part to Mormon missionary work, the governor's office also says credit is due to the state's tax code.

While Utah is not alone in offering tax credit incentives to companies doing business in-state, its Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (EDTIF) system is set apart by making its credit post-performance based, says Michael Sullivan, the director of communications with the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

"Our program is sustainable," he says in an interview with AOL Jobs. "States are suing companies for return of tax incentives. We don't ever have to sue anybody, because we collect the dollar before we give the quarter back."

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jay love

I heard recently where Democratic controlled California having such a terrible economy and loss of jobs, etc...cannot ignore the facts anylonger that places such as Texas and Utah have something going on in their states, given their strategy....and recently sent a huge delegation of legislators and lawmakers to TX. to observe and learn and to see how changing their ways can benefit them as well. instead of hundreds of people and companies voting with their feet and running from the borders of CA on a daily basis, they might be able to turn the tide, IF the get off the necks of those producing jobs as well as the citizens that live there?? lets hope so, CA used to be a nice state to live in, but for many is no longer worth it?

June 24 2011 at 5:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fastenberg worked with Mark Halperin. That tells you why Fastenberg neglected to mention that Utah is a right-to-work state. Isn't it wonderful the way AOL, along with newly acquired Huffington Post, does such a great job of presenting the liberal view-point.

June 24 2011 at 1:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This maybe be True but then if you live in Utah, you have to put up with All those Delusional Moronic Mormons! Christ What a Life!

June 23 2011 at 10:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

That's right baby! THIS is the place!

June 23 2011 at 10:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


June 23 2011 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to larry's comment

Low taxes and business-friendly. It's not rocket science.

June 23 2011 at 8:58 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

Any suprise Republicans run this state?

June 23 2011 at 8:44 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to James's comment

Jimmy can't spell

June 23 2011 at 11:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Utah is a strongly Republican state as is Texas which has added 37% of all the jobs created in this country in the past year.... Low corporate tax rate, little union interference, people who want to work...This isn't rocket science my friends!!!!!!

June 23 2011 at 8:30 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to goatcars2's comment

All low wage jobs!

June 23 2011 at 8:38 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to rotondojrr's comment

2,700 jobs for skilled aerospace engineers you liberal tool. If you were able to read you would know that.

June 23 2011 at 9:24 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down

That must be a photo of your girlfriend.

June 24 2011 at 12:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

yes sir masta.. utah and texas got rich and everyone else, just like any 3rd world country!!! lol

June 24 2011 at 2:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello Butch

If you want to work there are plenty of jobs out there, yet so many make more from unemployment then if they went to work legally. There are many that do work and get paid under the table as well as collecting unemployment. Hell the Government could hire thousands of people just to investigate those that do this as well as get food stamps, SSI, welfare and disability illegally.

June 23 2011 at 6:45 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hello Butch's comment

Just prosecute the bankers who steal more daily than the people you're condemning do in a lifetime.

June 23 2011 at 11:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Sarah E. Wilson

But will they hire nonMormans?

June 23 2011 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sarah E. Wilson's comment

Yes. I'm a non-Mormon living and working happily in Utah. Any more questions?

June 23 2011 at 8:59 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JC's comment

are they good in bed?

June 23 2011 at 11:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

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