Salt Lake City’s been making more and more headlines lately for being a great place to live.
With new restaurants, coffee shops and bars opening up every day the city seems to be more alive than ever. Fifteen years ago, the streets of downtown Salt Lake were ghost towns on the weekend but now the city glows with activity every every night and it seems to be getting more vibrant, active and interesting with each passing day.
Suddenly Utah is looking like the new benchmark for business and quality of life. A rash of new studies and rankings is proving that the Beehive State, and especially Salt Lake City, is increasingly the place to be.Contributing to the state’s strong economy: the “entrepreneurial spirit” of Utahns, industrial diversity and a “balanced approach” to pursuing the right policies, said John McKernan, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in a story that appeared on local news outlet KSL.com.
In terms of job growth and economic performance, Utah ranked as the overall best performing state for the second year in a row, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s annual Enterprising States study. This is just one of the high ratings that’s proving that the state’s centrist government and wise investments are working.
Utah also landed atop Forbes’s list of best states for business in 2014, and the state consistently ranks high in quality-of-life measures. And while the Enterprising States survey ranked Utah No. 3 for economic performance, behind North Dakota and Texas, it was the only state to land in the top 10 in all six major categories of the study. There’s that balance. And the centrism: Gov. Gary Herbert attributed the state’s high scores to government policies that “empower the private sector” and advocate job growth in both high-tech and middle-skill industries.
At the city level Utah looks shiny, too—and proves that with education, you get what you pay for. While Utah’s overall record on teacher salaries isn’t the greatest—though the government is taking meaningful steps to change that—Salt Lake City is investing more in education. A recent study found that Salt Lake pays secondary-school teachers more than the national average and more than nine of 12 other Western metropolitan statistical areas—including $17,000 more on average than Tucson and $8,000 more than even that capital of envy, Austin.