The 10 Best States for Workforce Quality

CEOs gave Utah the highest rating of all 50 states for workforce quality, with 8.22 out of 10, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.

When a state gets good marks for workforce quality, that gets the attention of businesses outside the state that specifically want to locate their plants and offices where they can find the best staff. So a good rating such as Utah’s, or any of the other top 10 states, could easily bring in new business for those respective states.

Here are the top 10 states that CEOs voted as having the best “workforce quality” in Chief Executive’s 2016 Best & Worst States for Business.

Workforce Quality 2

Utah’s population has an education level that is slightly above average, according to the Utah Foundation. In a survey of its local businesses, 92% feel that Utah is on the right track for growth. Utah is close enough in proximity to California to be near other companies there, but has much lower taxes that it’s coastal neighbor. One-quarter of survey respondents felt that Utah’s work ethic was the best quality of its labor force, while 60% of the companies with an out-of-state presence said their Utah employees were more productive than their out-of-state counterparts.

“Utah is becoming a desired business location due to affordable housing, a good workforce and a less cumbersome regulatory environment,” one CEO respondent noted.

And the fact that the top 4 are in the midwest should not go without mention. Fresh air, wide open spaces, lower cost of living and midwestern values all play a role.

According to One thing benefiting Idaho is a new tax reimbursement incentive program that provides a tax credit as high as 30% for up to 15 years on sales, payroll and income taxes, which was introduced in July 2015. A dozen companies have tapped the program so far, including Skywest Airlines, which is building a new facility in Boise, and Amy’s Kitchen, which produces organic foods in Pocatello.

Meanwhile, Nebraska spends $1.4 billion on incentive programs, more than either Idaho or Utah. In addition to the companies listed above, Nebraska is home to Berkshire Hathaway, ConAgra and Union Pacific Railway, among others.

Review the entire 2016 Best & Worst States for Business results, including individual state rankings, CEO comments, methodology and more at



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