Utah Tops List of Where Growth is Happening

Utah’s population topped three million people in 2016, with the state being the fastest growing in the 12-month period starting July 1, 2015. The western flavor continued with others at the top of the list including Nevada, Idaho, Florida and Washington.

Now, approximately 38% of the population lives in what the Census Bureau identifies as the South, with 24% in the West.

Kiplinger goes a step further, with cities where it expects job creation to thrive going forward. At the top of that list (with a reason or two cited) are:

  • St, George, Utah: magnet for tourists visiting Zion National Park and retirees seeking pleasant weather
  • Bend and Redmond, Oregon: also strong in tourism and drawing retirees
  • Cleveland, Tennessee: home to a wide range of manufacturing operations
  • Prescott, Arizona: cooler climate makes it an attractive alternative to Phoenix
  • Savannah, Georgia: home of the fourth-busiest ocean port, which will grow once its harbor is deepened to handle larger vessels

Survey Says Jobs are Job One for Hoosiers

Not a major secret that job creation is a top priority right now, but it’s interesting to see it on paper. Here are the results of a recent survey about Hoosiers’ priorities from Ball State:

Job creation, upgrading K-12 education and improving government efficiency are the top priorities for the Indiana state legislature and Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2011, a new public opinion survey from Ball State University reveals.

The Hoosier Survey 2010 produced by Ball State’s Bowen Center for Public Affairs found that 77 percent of Indiana residents questioned believe that job creation is the state’s top priority, up from 73 percent last year. The complete survey may be found at www.bsu.edu/bowencenter.

Each year the Hoosier Survey provides Indiana lawmakers with public opinion on a variety of highly charged issues to be considered next session. The 2011 legislative term will include developing a new two-year budget for the state.

The Bowen Center contracted with Princeton Survey Research Associates to sample 600 voting-age adults.

The survey’s findings will be announced publicly at 8:10 a.m. Dec. 2 at the annual Bingham McHale Legislative Conference at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

Improving government efficiency finished second in this year’s results at 61 percent, just ahead of improving schools (58 percent) and making health care more affordable (52 percent).

"Creating jobs is a hot issue for many people simply because Indiana has suffered in the recent recession as the state has lost thousands of good-paying jobs," said Hoosier Survey co-author Ray Scheele, a political science professor and co-director of the Bowen Center. The survey team also includes Joe Losco, chair of the political science department, and Sally Jo Vasicko, a political science professor and center co-director.

"For the last generation or two, governors across the nation have branded themselves as job creators and Gov. Daniels is no exception," Scheele said. "In the last few years, Gov. Daniels has traveled overseas to talk to foreign businesses about investing in Indiana and he has been successful in bringing Honda production facilities to the state. I think people believe he is responsible for creating new jobs for people of all education and skill levels."

Washington Threatening the “Free” in Free Enterprise

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Chamber and others participating in a roundtable discussion earlier today on economic growth and job creation in the Hoosier state all easily agreed on one principle: It’s not about government creating jobs, but government creating an atmosphere for the private sector to create jobs.

Indiana receives a leading grade in that category; Washington does not.

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar was among the discussion participants. He noted that member companies and others in the Hoosier state "could expand their businesses further, hire even more employees or even re-open facilities but they’re not doing so until they have a better handle on their future costs as imposed by the federal government and the economic direction of our country."

Various business leaders gave examples of growth as a result of Indiana’s entrepreneur-friendly policies and practices, as well as how national actions are threatening their companies and others.

The campaign — American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. — says business leaders understand the challenge, but that those serving in government sometimes do not. It is posing five questions to ask candidates to determine if they are free enterprise friendly:

  • Do you believe our free enterprise system is currently threatened?
  • Do you believe that tax increases hurt job creation?
  • Do you believe that the growth of government at all levels and the deficits that follow negatively impact job creation?
  • Would you deal with the debt and deficit issues through increasing government revenue or decreasing government spending?
  • Do you believe that the uncertainy resulting from pending tax increases, higher government deficits and more government regulations will hurt the economy?

Good questions; ones that deserve honest answers. 

Chamber Statement on Bayh Decision

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar comments on today’s announcement by Sen. Evan Bayh to not seek a third term:

“Senator Bayh has enjoyed a long and distinguished career serving Hoosiers. He has done many positive things for Indiana, both as governor and U.S. senator, and we  wish him and his family nothing but the best going forward. I believe he is quite genuine with his comments that the hostile political atmosphere and partisan bickering were the tipping points for his decision. When he was governor, he was known for his fiscal conservatism and made a point of working with both sides of the aisle to get results. Not being able to see that happen in the Senate and Congress in general, where it is sorely needed, must be a source of frustration and disappointment for him, as it has been for Hoosier employers and their workers the Chamber represents.

“In particular, the events over the past six months in Congress obviously have changed the senator’s belief that meaningful, positive outcomes for issues like health care, debt reduction and job creation could be achieved. In August, when he spoke to the Chamber’s board of directors, he was quite optimistic that Congress would deal with these issues in a bipartisan, productive way to get things done for Americans. Unfortunately, things appear to have gone in the exact opposite direction.

“From the Chamber’s standpoint, we have always found Sen. Bayh to be thoughtful and consistent in his decisions and a willing listener to the business community’s position. During his time in Washington, the senator has routinely participated in our annual D.C. Fly-in trip, meeting in-person with business leaders from throughout the state to discuss the issues important to them. While Sen. Bayh did not always vote with the Chamber position, we respected his stance and felt that courtesy was returned to us.”