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SALT LAKE CITY - Utah has moved up in many key categories in one of the nation's top economic development publications, ranking high in everything from quality of life to tax structure.

The annual Rankings Report by Business Facilities magazine, released Monday, is yet another sign that Governor Herbert's economic development plan is headed in the right direction.

"Across all of our key rankings categories, Utah clearly exhibited the most dramatic improvement of any state in the nation," said Jack Rogers, Business Facilities' Editor in Chief.

Utah ranked No. 1 in Quality of Life, and improved its ranking in several categories, including Best Education Climate, Best Business Climate and Best Transportation Infrastructure in this year's rankings.

"All Utahns can take pride in the fact that these high marks from Business Facilities form a report card of sorts in several subjects important to economic development and developers in our great State," Governor Herbert said. "And what it shows is that Utah is getting nearly straight 'As' when it comes to business development and potential future job growth."

Following is a breakdown of Utah's most recent showing, with last year's ranking in parenthesis:

  • Quality of Life: 1 (9)
  • Best Education Climate: 2 (5)
  • Best Business Climate: 3 (4)
  • Geothermal Power Generation Leaders: 3 (new ranking category)
  • Economic Growth Potential: 7 (new ranking category)
  • Employment Leaders - 7 (new ranking category)
  • Best Transportation Infrastructure: 8 (not in top 10)
  • Best Business Tax Climate - 10 (not in top 10)

In particular, Rogers noted Utah's climb of one spot this year to No. 3 in Best Business Climate, which is considered by the magazine as the premiere category in the rankings. The Beehive State followed Texas at No. 1 and Virginia with the No. 2 placing.

"Utah continues to see accolades coming its way on almost a monthly, if not a weekly, basis," said Spencer Eccles, Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. "These high marks come from the economic development industry itself, and form the basis of a blueprint that companies will use as they consider Utah for their next great move or expansion in business."

Based out of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, Business Facilities magazine is among the top two economic development publications in an industry that uses such magazines and their rankings as site location catalogues in looking for areas to relocate or expand business operations.

To assess a state's business climate, the magazine examines more than 20 input factors, including the state's rankings for Cost of Labor, Business Tax Climate, Quality of Life, Transportation Infrastructure, Educated Workforce and Economic Growth Potential. Also considered is a close look at per capita GDP, population growth and energy costs/energy efficiency.

"The combination of a superior quality of life, a first-class education system and one of the best business climates in the U.S. has moved Utah into the front ranks of economic development leaders," Rogers said. "We are confident Utah will maintain this momentum with its diverse and innovative growth strategy."

Economic Development is one of the top priorities for Governor Herbert's administration. For more information about his plans and success in this area, please visit www.business.utah.gov.

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