Forbes Magazine ranks Utah 'the best state for business'


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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 24, 2011 7:37 p.m.

    It used to be that Utah's wages were low but the standard of living was low. That is no longer the case with the latter.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Nov. 24, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    I can speak from experience as I have operated my own small business for over 30 years. I currently employ thirty workers (20 adults) and have NEVER paid adults at or even near the minimum wage. I do not need government telling me how to retain employees. Minimum wage laws are a JOKE. The only workers at the minimum wage are 15-year olds and many are not even worth the minimum wage. Wages should be MARKET driven.(supply and demand).If you can find a better job you have my blessing, and if I wish to keep you I will offer you more. I have a ton of money in the bank and I have no debt. Started with $400K loan. My workers know I truly value them as human beings not slaves. My biggest competition for labor is government. (too many gov't jobs are over-paid). Pat yourself on the back Utah...good work ethic is HUGE. Right to work legislation is HUGE! Keep it up.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 24, 2011 10:42 a.m.


    You are correct. I mis-read your original post, and for that I apologize.

    Utah is a great place for business. There is a culture here that makes people not want to move away, so they will settle for lower wages in order to remain near family. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing.

    But just to be contrary and throwing a wet blanket on the party, where is Forbes' list of best states to be a worker?

  • Millsap fan Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 24, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    that sounds a lot like the movie zoolander. Maybe you could hire a male model to assassinate the prime minister of a foreign country to push your agenda to hire 10 year olds for a dollar a day to work in sweat shops! :)

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Nov. 24, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    Actually, Nevada is NOT a red state and Florida went blue last time. I don't think either one of these states will make the same mistake next time.

    Minimum wage is one of those things that is, in fact, counter-intuitive. It seems logical that minimum wage would help people, but it doesn't. It is actually the cause of a lot of unemployment. You will find virtually NO economists that are in favor of it. It hurts poor, unskilled people and young people the most. It's actually a cruel thing that people believe will help them but it doesn't.

    Who minimum wage does help are politicians who fool people into believing it helps them. It also helps more expensive union workers. That's why unions all support it. It protects them against lower-priced competition.

    A few people on these blogs need to take an economics course or two.

    Congrats, Utah. We're doing a pretty good job.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Nov. 24, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    I never know what to make of these reports. This year my adopted home area of Raleigh/Durham NC was also named by Forbes as the "Number 1 place for Business and Careers". So two reports, two very different states, two number 1 rankings in the same year.

    As to the silly talk about child labor and all that, a recent wage summary I read about manufacturing jobs stated that many companies are looking at "near shoring" because by 2015, the cost advantage of manufacturing with transportation added will be more in China than producing products in countries like Mexico.

    I do agree we need to establish something like an ISO certification products need to meet to be imported and that would include setting a minimum standard for things like child\prisoner labor, product safety, etc... which would greatly level the global manufacturing playing field.

    But then again, conservatives would argue protecting human rights is nothing we should be doing if it doesn't directly impact us.

    And Utah, good job being the low cost labor state of the nation... something to be very proud of.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 24, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    I was not advocating that we end child labor laws, or end the minimum wage. I was making the point (probably a little sarcastically)that the Forbes ranking doesn't matter that much because even though Utah is a right to work state and typically pays very low wages, we still cannot compete with third world countries who don't have child labor laws and don't have a minimum wage. Big business does not care about this country or the workers they hire in this or any other country, they care about the bottom line. Labor costs are typically the biggest expense for any business and third world countries will always have lower labor costs. I would like to see us do what most other industrialized countries have done to protect their own workers which is place a high tariff on imported goods. If we did that then the Forbes ranking might matter because the bottom line might be equal to or better than doing business abroad. We need to start doing what is best for America, not big business, not other countries, but put America first.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 24, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    @CHS85 - why is it funny that I didn't mention your blue states? Try reading the article - it's about the best states for business, not a ranking of lowest unemployment.

    What's funny is that you bring up Minnesota, Hawaii, Vermont, and New Mexico, but they're not even listed among the top 10 states in the article.

    Nice misdirection of topics though. At least it's entertaining.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Nov. 24, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    I'm really hoping Fed44 was being sarcastic..however..that does lead to the point of let's do a study of the best states to be an employee in. Categories, wages paid, security of employment, environment (air, water etc.), level of worker autonomy, company contribution towards retirement.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 24, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    Get rid of child labor laws. Great idea. Instead of overburdening our underfunded schools with more students they could go to work in the factories and farms. No more need for immigrant labor, our children could fill those service sectors jobs. Of course with our children working all day they would be to busy and tired for juvenile mischief, drugs, alcohol,etc. And all that extra income could really help struggling families keep their homes and raise their standard of living. Pure genius. I wish I would have thought of that. Would they get released time to attend seminary classes? Just wondering.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 11:06 p.m.

    "This won't really help because right now we are not competing with other states, we are competing with other countries. Until we get rid of minimum wage and end child labor laws we will not be able to compete with third world countries. Business will go were they can get the cheapest labor and no regulations, and that is third world countries."

    Here's a better idea.... One that actually solves problems AND raises the quality of life of 3rd world countries.

    Have all 3rd world countries create a minimum wage and actually enforce it.
    Have all 3rd world countries create and enforce child labor laws.

    Hows that repubs? The CEO might need to earn a few less billion, but at least kids won't have to work 16 hour days for pennies.

    As far as Utah being a great state for business? Of course it is! Hardly any regulations, all laws are slanted for business owners (they can fire you at any moment for any reason), and a ton of desperate college kids needing something... Anything!!! To help pay for school.

  • Blue Bolshevik Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 10:15 p.m.

    Corporate welfare pays off big for Utah legislators.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 9:56 p.m.

    Congrats to the Union Lefties for finding the dark cloud in the silver lining. Is there anything bad about the fact that Forbes ranks Utah #1 for business? Does that not have the potential to create even more jobs here in the future? Or do those jobs not count because they are not Union jobs?

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 9:35 p.m.

    I've lived in a lot of other states and one very important thing that Forbes left out is that Utahns really value hard work. You can talk politics all you want but as a recruiter working at a national recruiting firm, the thing that I've found that sets Utah apart are the hard working Utahns.

    Many other places (like Wall Street) the people are looking for easy money manipulating non tangible ideas and loop holes, but non tangibles don't create jobs, hard working people and people with tangible ideas create jobs.

    I've heard that banks create jobs or that republican plans create jobs or that democratic plans create jobs, but it's been my experience that good people and tangible ideas create jobs.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 7:52 p.m.


    Funny your blue state list didn't include Minnesota, Vermont, Hawaii, and New Mexico - all with lower unemployment rates than Utah.

    You conveniently forgot also that there are plenty of red states at the bottom of the list - Nevada, Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia.

    Nice cherry-picking of facts, though. At least it's entertaining.

  • FDRfan safety dictates, ID
    Nov. 23, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    USAlover | 11:44 a.m. Nov. 23, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The best thing for business is a paucity of Liberals. Duh...

    I admit that I do not know the answers to the following 2 questions:
    1) Has there ever been a Utah whistle blower against a business?
    2) Has a BYU business school professor ever published a paper criticizing s business?
    If I read the FreedomWorks criticism correctly, they would have ranked Utah higher if they loosened their alcohol use laws and imported some Nevada brothels.

  • VAggie Bristow, United States
    Nov. 23, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    @ Humble opinion, minimum wage only helps a small amount of people, and it hurts a larger amount. Continuing to raise a price floor is not good economics, and causes for a huge dead weight loss.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    @FDRfan - yes, we would all be so better off if we were more like, say Michigan and California, for example. Bluest of blue states and clearly more enlightened about the plan to enhance humanity by going bankrupt. I'm sure George Soros would concur. All would be so much better in Zion if only we could attract more undesirables, had higher unemployment, soaring debt, and bankrupting pensions and entitlements.

    You're really denigrating our state for being top on this list? I guess when conservatives hyperbolize that liberals want to destroy our country, they're specifically talking about people like you who find the negative in every success, at least if it comes in the "reddest of the red states." I'm guessing you probably find nothing wrong with the top-10 rankings of Washington and Oregon.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    Nov. 23, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    This past week behind closed doors (of course!!) The republicans have set up a bill written by large company lawyers to cut back on any government attempt to regulate air, water, radiation et. al. ( Thanks Senator Margaret Dayton). Utah will be the best place to run a dirty industry....watch your breathing from Dec.-March.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    David Bradford said, "We have a very high-educated populace.

    If that's true, thank Utah parents and their local public schools for performing miracles with the lowest per student funding in the nation. Then tell your state legislators to back off with their constant attacks on public educators.

  • FDRfan safety dictates, ID
    Nov. 23, 2011 3:08 p.m.

    Wow! Forbes has ranked Utah #1. I'm sure that Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers concur. Utah is the reddest of the red states, the brightest of the bright and the elitist of the elite. All is well in Zion - well, after deporting a few thousand more of the undesirables.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    People are fond of saying that government doesn't know best. But in Utah, our people has about the highest rate of bankruptcy, and about the highest rate of being taken in a scam in the entire nation.

    Conversely, our state government is about the beat run in the nation, helping to make our business climate among the best in the nation.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    'Until we get rid of minimum wage and end child labor laws we will not be able to compete with third world countries.' - Fred44 | 12:07 p.m. Nov. 23, 2011

    So we can work for 0.8 cents per hour with a 16 hour work day?

    This America's response:

    *Ohio voters reject Republican-backed union limits By Julie Carr Smyth AP Published by Dsnews 11/08/11


    No thank you.

    I would pick the well being of the American people, OVER corporate profit, any day.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    "Until we get rid of minimum wage and end child labor laws we will not be able to compete with third world countries"

    I don't think either of those help the jobs situation.

    1. Get rid of minimum wage.
    Problem: If some jobs are going to pay out less than they used to, this could lead to maybe a few additional hirings... but it would also lead to more people needing to have second jobs.
    2. End child labor laws.
    Problem: You're now expanding the market in a demographic of people, if more under-18s get jobs or have more hours working than that means fewer jobs are going to those over-18.

  • My Humble Opinion Sandy, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 12:18 p.m.

    Fred44: Is this supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, or a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. Getting rid of minumum wage may help corporations, but won't help the people much.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 23, 2011 12:07 p.m.

    This won't really help because right now we are not competing with other states, we are competing with other countries. Until we get rid of minimum wage and end child labor laws we will not be able to compete with third world countries. Business will go were they can get the cheapest labor and no regulations, and that is third world countries.

  • donburi Oceanside, CA
    Nov. 23, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    How can Utah "soar to the top" when they were already on top last year? Maybe "keeps the top spot for the second year in a row" is more appropriate.

    The Utah unemployment rate was 7% in October, not 7.4%, which was earlier.

    Anyway, congrats Utah.

  • lket Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    well known peopele here work for less and companies pay less utah tax % than many working class.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    The best thing for business is a paucity of Liberals. Duh...