State Economic Development Bulletin – September 2018

Latest News

State Economic Performance

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis (Pew). Since the Great Recession, the economy’s slow recovery has played out unevenly across states. The Pew Charitable Trusts provides an interactive resource that allows you to sort and analyze data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic trends in your state and understand their impact on fiscal health. The tool presents data and analyses that help states look beyond their current budgets, size up their progress over time, consider different ways to measure performance, and easily compare their outcomes with neighbors or peers that have similar resources and challenges.

Topics and Trends

Industry Watch

2018 Aerospace manufacturing attractiveness rankings (PricewaterhouseCoopers). PwC’s annual aerospace manufacturing attractiveness rankings report is a guide to promising geographic locations for aerospace development. The index offers comparisons within the United States and globally as well, providing organizations with data they can leverage to help plan for the future.


Tariff Concerns Expressed by Apple (Apple Insider). In a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, Apple – the largest US corporate taxpayer – expressed that “tariffs will lead to higher U.S. consumer prices, lower overall U.S. economic growth, and other unintended economic consequences.”

State International Trade Directors Meeting Notes (CREC). The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) recently participated in the monthly call between the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration ITA and State International Trade Directors. The call covered five (5) topics and notes from that call are included in the link.

Opportunity Zones

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) has a new report describing steps states are taking to make the most of their Opportunity Zones. One common strategy is assessing how other incentive programs can be combined with Opportunity Zones to maximize investor interest. According to the report, 33% of states indicated they are considering creating incentives for Opportunity Fund investments.

The Opportunity Zones program provides a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to investing into Opportunity Zones designated by the chief executives of every U.S. state and territory. Treasury has certified more than 8,700 census tracts as Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) across all states, territories, and the District of Columbia. For a map of all designated QOZs, click here.

Inclusive Growth

Economic development organizations have a role to play in addressing barriers to inclusive growth (Brookings). This is a complicated era for economic development leaders—they must simultaneously deliver environments in which firms and industries can thrive and create good jobs while also creating systems and networks that help lift up workers and communities, especially those that have been historically disadvantaged.

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality legislation has been introduced in over half of the states (NCSL), largely in response to the Federal Communications Commission Restoring Internet Freedom Order issued on Jan. 4, 2018. Legislators in 30 states have introduced over 72 bills requiring internet service providers to ensure various net neutrality principles. Governors in six states—Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont—have signed executive orders. Three states—Oregon, Vermont, and Washington—enacted net neutrality legislation.

Hot Button Issues

The opioid crisis continues to have an impact on the American workforce (Axios). Nearly 1 million “prime-age individuals” (men and women between the ages of 25 and 54) were not in the workforce, due to opioids. Employers often have a direct interest in combating the opioid crisis, and the business impact of those out of the workforce and struggling with opioid addiction will become only more noticeable for states.

Deal Makers

Incentives in Action

What states learned about wooing companies with big tax breaks (CNN Money). So, are tax breaks cost-effective? It really depends on how much a local government thinks the jobs are worth — and whether the company would have walked away without the extra incentive. Benefits from these deals haven’t always materialized, prompting many states to think more carefully about them. Here are some of the largest tax break packages of the past decade and what has happened since.

New Growth Opportunities

Mississippi says $9.8 million wagered on sports in first month (AP). Mississippi officials say gamblers bet $9.8 million on sporting events from Aug. 1 through Labor Day.

Talent Attraction

Michigan launches first talent attraction and retention campaign (, which went into media markets in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Madison, and across Michigan. The Choose Michigan campaign stemmed from several rounds of research and a targeted focus group held earlier this year.