North Dakota ‘Most Enterprising’ State

If you are looking for a job, you may want to consider looking in North Dakota. According to a new survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the job growth rate in North Dakota is far beyond that of any other state. As policymakers across the country work to foster strong entrepreneurial ecosystems, Enterprising States: Getting Down to Small Business takes an in-depth look at the priorities, policies and programs of the 50 states that are vital for job growth and economic prosperity.

Each state is evaluated and ranked for its overall job growth and economic performance and its performance across five policy areas: Exports and international trade; Entrepreneurship and innovation; Business climate; Talent pipeline; and Infrastructure.

Over the past two years, North Dakota’s job growth rate is 10.7%--more than double the 5.2% of second place Utah. Its strong performance can be traced to “the confluence of its energy boom, strong agricultural economy, and (perhaps surprisingly) well-educated young workforce.” But if you want to find out where to go for entrepreneurship and innovation, you have to look to Maryland.

According to the report, the top five states for entrepreneurship and innovation are:

  1. Maryland. Maryland is the top state for entrepreneurship and innovation, ranking in the top six in four of the six metrics and no lower than 21st in any metric. The state is No. 1 in academic research and development, has the 2nd-highest concentration of STEM employment, and is adding STEM jobs faster than all but five other states.
  2. Colorado. Colorado ranks in the top 20 on all six measures, highlighted by a 2nd place ranking in high-tech businesses, 4th place in business birthrate, and 5th place in STEM job concentration. The state’s fastest-growing industry sectors for STEM jobs over the past two years were software (1,100 new jobs), engineering services (840 jobs), physical and life sciences research (675), and management consulting (550).
  3. Virginia. Virginia may be the best state in the nation for STEM jobs. The state is 1st in STEM job concentration and 2nd in STEM job growth only to North Dakota, where the concentration is much lower. Virginia also has the highest share of business establishments in high-tech industries. Virginia’s Business One Stop helps entrepreneurs obtain the information and complete the steps required to register their businesses and find resources to help them grow and expand.
  4. Utah. Utah is a fast-emerging state for high technology and entrepreneurship. It is adding STEM jobs at the 3rd-fastest rate and has the 7th-highest concentration of high-tech business establishments. Utah also performs well on measures of entrepreneurship, ranking 3rd in business birthrate and 7th in the increase in self-employed workers. The USTAR (Utah Science, Technology and Research) initiative received $6 million in 2012 to support research and innovation at Utah’s universities, creating commercial opportunities leading to partnerships with private sector businesses.
  5. Massachusetts. Massachusetts is a center for STEM jobs and university research and development. The state ranks 4th and 2nd in those two categories, to go along with its 6th-place ranking in high-tech businesses. The Bay State lands in the middle of the pack for measures of entrepreneurship, but its high-tech economy was enough to place it 5th overall.
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