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New Benchmarking Reports: Cyberstates and Rich States, Poor States

Mark Marich

Two new national economic benchmarking reports were recently released.

The annual Cyberstates study, produced now by TechAmerica, examines national and state trends in technology industry (primarily information technology-related sectors) employment and growth. Despite glum economic news, the technology industry had a pretty good year in 2008, adding 77,000 net new jobs. Most of those new positions came in service sectors, as tech manufacturing employment continued to decline. Virginia continues to lead the US in terms of the concentration of high tech workers. In terms of job growth in 2008, the top performers were Texas, Georgia, and Washington.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative policy think tank, has recently released its second annual state competitiveness index. ALEC is no fan of taxes and regulation, so its rankings tend to favor states with a light tax burden and regulatory touch. Thus, key variables in the ALEC Index include marginal tax rates, sales and property tax burden, state minimum wage, and the relative size of government. In terms of future economic outlook, Utah takes the top spot. In terms of recent economic performance over the past decade, Texas takes the top spot. This year’s report also includes a detailed analysis of the California economy, arguing that California’s volatile political climate is having a negative effect on the state’s economic prospects.

Report: "Cyberstates 2009" by Tech America (executive summary is available and the full report is available for purchase)

Report: "Rich States, Poor States: The ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index" by Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Jonathan Williams

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