North Dakota Among Nation's Leaders in Growing Jobs

May 23, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010 - 8:00pm

U.S. Chamber Study Finds the Peace Garden State Ranks Among Nation's Most Enterprise-Friendly States

WASHINGTON, D.C.—North Dakota's commitment to investing in research and development (R&D) has it ranked among the top states in the country when it comes to growing jobs, according to a new study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber Foundation (NCF). The Enterprising States study highlights how state and local policies—including those in North Dakota—play a vital role in spurring job creation and economic development.

"By embracing many of the strategies at the core of our free enterprise system—competitive tax rates, open trade, and commonsense regulation—states are helping to jumpstart our economic recovery and create more jobs," wrote Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, in a letter to Governor John Hoeven. "Many of the new ideas, new companies, and new jobs will come from local initiatives that allow the free market to do what it does best."

The Enterprising States study was released as part of a U.S. Chamber event where a group of bipartisan governors from around the country discussed the role of the free enterprise system in job creation. Through this study, the Chamber is highlighting bipartisan state and local policies—including those in North Dakota—that have proven to help create jobs and that will be key to our economic recovery. The study is part of the U.S. Chamber's American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. campaign, a comprehensive nationwide effort to create 20 million jobs in the next 10 years.

Specifically, the study highlights how North Dakota is playing a pivotal role in fostering the conditions for job growth through offering aggressive R&D and seed capital tax credit programs, owning its own bank, and increasing exports.

"This study provides an in-depth look at the vast and complex network of economies we call the 50 states and territories," said Margaret Spellings, executive vice president of NCF and former secretary of the Department of Education. "By highlighting lessons learned we hope to create a roadmap to economic resilience and an ongoing dialogue that makes every state's jobs picture stronger."

The Enterprising States study highlights six factors that drive job creation: Innovation, productivity through investments in workforce development and training, science and technology, infrastructure, exporting, and competitive tax rates. The study found that states are much more active than the federal government on the job creation and economic development front. For example, the study found that high tax rates do not lead to either healthy economies or budgets.

Similarly, the study looks at how states have implemented initiatives for streamlining red tape to help businesses sort through the many layers of government regulation and have incentivized private-sector investors primarily with tax credits. It also highlights that targeted investments in infrastructure projects at the state-level can create growth‐friendly environments in communities. Science- and technology-based economic development and clean tech initiatives are proliferating amongst virtually all of the states. There is widespread support for doubling exports and there are also states that have made significant headway using strategies for foreign direct investment (FDI). Finally, cultivating people through workforce development will drive economic growth at the state-level, the study shows.

The Enterprising States study is available at: http://ncf.uschamber.com/enterprising-states

American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's comprehensive, multiyear campaign to support free enterprise through national advertising; grassroots advocacy; citizen, community, and youth engagement; and research and ideas leadership.

The National Chamber Foundation (NCF), a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and fostering public debate on emerging critical issues. We provide business and government leaders with insight and resources to address tomorrow's challenges.