Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert ranks third in the United States for job creation among the nation’s governors according to a new feature released by The Business Journal.
In November 2011, Herbert enacted a plan to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days. Utahns have seen the creation of 63,600 new jobs in just over 600 days since that announcement, according to UtahJobsPlan.com. The state also boasts the seventh-fastest growing economy, and sixth most diverse, in the United States.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find another state in the nation that works as hard as we do to connect people to jobs,” said Nic Dunn, spokesperson for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Dunn lauded the state’s 33 employment centers where Utahns can speak with employment counselors and receive training and job-seeking tips.
Dunn said Utah has succeeded because it has sought the right mix of regional, national and international businesses.
“(Utah leads) the nation as the best performing economy and (can) be recognized as a premier global business destination,” Dunn said.
Herbert credits business-friendly policies for Utah’s success adding jobs. He says the most powerful engine for prosperity is the private sector operating in a free market system.
“This recognition is noteworthy — but not because of me. It’s another indicator of what is right with Utah,” Herbert said in a release. “We work hard to create a diverse economy, we work hard to be business-friendly, and we work well with strong industries like technology and software
development, life sciences, energy and finance.”
Those industries, according to Herbert, are buoyed by the economic freedom to invest in their businesses.
“In Utah, we honor the principle of individual liberty coupled with individual responsibility — the power of people to work, to produce, to innovate, to be self-sufficient and to be rewarded for their efforts,” Herbert said.
Val Hale, president of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, said Utah County’s economy is among Utah’s highest performing counties, driving the state’s economic resurgence.
“Our high-tech companies are hiring new employees at an amazing rate,” Hale said in an email. “One of the things that make our economy so strong, however, is the diversity of our businesses. We have manufacturing and other industries that are thriving, too.”
Hale also credits the educated workforce BYU and UVU are turning out.
“However, we need even more graduates, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math,” Hale said.
Two-thirds of BYU students hail from outside Utah, but Provo has steadily built a reputation as a jobs magnet for recent graduates.
“Provo is a really good place to work for young professionals,” said Randi Deighton, a 2012 BYU graduate. “Utah Valley, as a whole, is one of the entrepreneur capitals of the West. The cost of living is low, and the pay isn’t bad. It really is a great place to work after you graduate.”