In Utah, a record year for adding, retaining jobs
The Economic Development Corp. of Utah generated a record number of new jobs in its latest fiscal year and kept thousands more from decamping to other states, according to the consortium of government groups and private investors.
EDCUtah said Friday it created 8,747 jobs and retained another 2,763 in the fiscal year ending June 30. That was up from 7,313 jobs created and 1,346 retained in the same period a year earlier. A retained job is one that might have moved out of Utah if a company had decided to expand its local operations somewhere else.
Jeff Edwards, EDCUtah's chief executive officer, said companies are drawn to Utah in increasing numbers because of its record of fiscal stability. A growing number of states are unable to balance their budgets without tax increases or cuts in services.
"You know what the tax rate is going to be today; you know what the tax rate will be in 10 years. This isn't a state that's out borrowing money," Edwards said.
The reputation of Utah's workforce it's educated, shows up on time and ready for work, and is loyal is another factor that shouldn't be discounted as a platitude, he said.
"It's just sort of a work ethic that we've heard for years" from companies that have moved into the state, Edwards said.
EDCUtah has been doing economic development work for state, county and local governments, as well as private industry, for 25 years. Forty percent of its budget comes from governments; banks, utilities, law firms, construction companies, engineering firms and other private companies chip in another 40 percent. The remaining 20 percent comes from the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED).
The new and retained jobs were courtesy of 29 companies, including Hexcel Corp., a Connecticut-based advanced materials manufacturer; Campbell Soup Co.; Orem's Xactware Solutions Inc.; and financial services giant Morgan Stanley.
The expansions pledged by all 29 companies represent $1.2 billion in capital investment in Utah and 3.6 million square feet of absorbed real estate space, according to EDCUtah.
EDCUtah and GOED share office space in downtown Salt Lake City. Although EDCUtah does the work to bring companies to Utah, equal credit goes to GOED, which approved post-performance tax incentives for most of the 29 companies, Edwards said.
"They are our boots on the ground," GOED spokesman Michael Sullivan said.
Recruiting is off to a relatively slow start in the current fiscal year, which started July 1. So far, EDCUtah says it has created 1,110 jobs and retained another 350 jobs. Edwards said he expects the pace to accelerate once the presidential election is decided.
"I think there's every reason to believe [fiscal 2012-2013] is going to be the same," he said.
Twitter: @sltribpaul Recent expansions and relocations in Utah
• Futura Industries, 143 new jobs
• Morgan Stanley, 80 new jobs
• EMC Corp., 250 new jobs
• Xactware, 859 new jobs
• eBay, 2,200 new jobs; 1,000 retained jobs
• Hexcel, 616 new jobs; 550 retained jobs