The Governor's Office of Economic Development stayed busy in the 2007-08 fiscal year, according to business-incentive statistics announced this month.

Derek Miller, managing director for business recruitment and incentives for GOED, noted that most of the key figures were several times higher in 2007-08 than in the prior fiscal year.

For example, the GOED board awarded incentives totaling $172.2 million to get companies to place or expand operations, up from $25 million in the prior year.

Other data cited for the past fiscal year:

• 4,836 new jobs, above the 4,033 goal set by GOED and topping the 1,814 in 2006-07.

• $617.6 million in new state revenue, above the $107.8 million a year earlier and above the goal of $250 million.

• $1.73 billion in capital investment, above the $294 million a year earlier and above the $1 billion goal.

• $3.36 billion in new state wages, above the $476 million a year earlier and the $1.99 billion goal.

"When you look at the new state wages, that actually grew by a factor of seven times this last year," Miller told the GOED board this month. "So what you can tell by that is not only do we have the right companies here and we're recruiting the right companies here, but they're also the higher-paying jobs — higher than we've ever had in the past — so that's a great thing for the state."

Jerry Oldroyd, chairman of the board's incentives committee, said having return-on-investment statistics is important. "It's always nice to get good news. It's always really nice to know that you've exceeded your own expectations, and we've done that," he said, noting that the state is attracting high-paying jobs in core industries targeted by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

Oldroyd added that the information makes it easier for GOED to justify additional appropriations for economic development in Utah. "The case," he said, "makes itself."


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