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Governor touts Utah’s economic growth during annual summit in Salt Lake City

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Posted at 6:19 PM, Apr 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-17 20:19:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- There is more good economic news for Utah, as the American Legislative Exchange Council has ranked Utah as the nation's leader in business and growth.

It is not the first time Utah has been recognized for its growing economy. This marks the eighth consecutive year the state has been rated No. 1 for economic growth. How we keep that spot was a big topic of discussion Friday at the Governor's Annual Economic Summit.

Gov. Gary Herbert said: "Utah is emerging as a leader in this country and is really becoming the envy of the country and other governments and other states saying, 'What's going on in Utah? Why are they having so much success?'"

Hundreds of business leaders packed the Grand America downtown Friday as they worked on ways to innovate, invest and grow the Beehive State.

"We're the one that everybody is trying to shoot for; we're the Super Bowl champion," said Val Hale, Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, Utah is the fastest growing economy in the nation at 4.2 percent, with 54 months of consecutive growth. That's news Utah's top lawmakers are bragging about in Washington.

"Let us cut the handcuffs, cut the chains, and let us do what we do best--which is to create as many opportunities for hardworking Americans as possible," said Rep. Mia Love, a Republican who represents Utah's Fourth Congressional District.

Many factors play into getting Utah the No. 1 spot. Competitive tax rates, regulation reform, and job growth are just a few.

Utah's labor force is also expanding. New numbers released Friday show a growth of 4 percent in March. The state's unemployment remains more than two points below the national rate.