North Dakota led the way over the last decade with the most job growth in the nation, and Utah had the largest spike in middle-class jobs from 2002-2009. Those were two findings from a state-centric economic development study released by the U.S Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber Foundation and prepared by Praxis Strategy Group, an EMSI client.
The report, “Enterprising States: Creating Jobs, Economic Development, and Prosperity in Challenging Times,” doesn’t just throw out state rankings and other data, though. It also includes incisive analysis by Joel Kotkin and the PSG team, backed by demographic and economic research.
One of the conclusions is that states and local governments are crucial to the U.S.’s economic recovery. The creation of small businesses — not federal policy — will be a driving force behind what the authors describe as the jobs imperative.
America is a vast country made up of hundreds of diverse economies. From early on, very different industries clustered in different places. There has been wide divergence in the skills and abilities of local populations. Although federal intervention is necessary in certain areas—for example, in creating national research institutions or interstate transportation—it is often at the state or local level that the best policies for a particular region can be developed.
The need to tailor economic development to local needs has been a critical aspect of the success of our federal system. By giving a state wide leeway to develop its own solutions to the jobs imperative, we would be providing the other states with potential role models—as well as a warning system of policies to avoid—in their own strategies.
The report measures states in five categories, including entrepreneurship and innovation; workforce development and training; and taxes and regulation. As part of the measure of entrepreneurship and innovation, PSG looked at the growth and concentration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) jobs by state using EMSI’s tools. Here’s what they found:
To download the full report (PDF), click here.