ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Ten states, including four first-time winners, are the best places in the country to create high-paying jobs and promote innovation-friendly policies, according to the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) 2017 Innovation Scorecard.
Colorado, Maryland, New Hampshire and Washington earned the Scorecard’s top designation of Innovation Champion for the first time, joining returning champions Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, Utah and Virginia. Newly minted Champion Washington is also home to two of this year’s CTA Digital Patriots Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA).
“States are the laboratories of democracy – and right now we have 50 experiments happening across the country, with each state working to grow their economy and be home to the next big idea,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “As they seek ways to drive growth and encourage homegrown entrepreneurs, state legislatures and governors should look to the innovation-friendly policies and best practices outlined in this report that advance job creation, fuel local economies and drive a state’s bottom line.”
Two other states improved their year-over-year Scorecard ranking: Connecticut and Illinois. Fourteen states enacted burdensome rules or otherwise inhibited homegrown innovation, thereby dropping in ranking: Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
According to the report, job creation is bouncing back across the country, while American entrepreneurship is on the decline. Period-over-period comparisons show a majority of states experienced job growth; 24 states posted double-digit job gains. Arkansas leads the country in job creation, experiencing a 62 percent increase over the period 2010-2013. Although nearly all states added jobs, 48 states saw a drop in the number of new small businesses created.
“While the economy is growing and adding jobs, the decline in entrepreneurship is alarming,” said Shapiro. “Now is the time for states to start modernizing their laws to ensure startups have access to capital, minimal red tape and other low barriers to entry. History has proven that young entrepreneurial companies are the driving force of the economy. Each state needs to develop an innovation agenda if they want to be home to the next big technological revolution that will improve lives and create jobs.”
Among the Scorecard’s other findings: Iowa, Nevada and Utah are best suited to attract talented and diverse workers thanks to favorable right-to-work laws and strong protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.
The largest number of tech workers per capita live in Massachusetts, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, Minnesota and Maryland.
The most welcoming states for both ridesharing and homesharing services are Arizona, Idaho and Rhode Island. Thirty-one states don’t have laws that restrict the use or operation of drones or self-driving cars.
The Northeast region is home to some of the country’s fastest internet speeds, with Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts and Maryland leading the nation.
“The technology sector supports more than 15 million American jobs and accounts for more than 10 percent of U.S. GDP,” said Shapiro. “State policies that drive innovation are critical to our nation’s economic growth. Each year, our Scorecard tracks and measures the state-level practices that support entrepreneurs and innovators, whether that’s the strength of a state’s tech workforce or how well a state educates the workers of tomorrow. More, for the first time this year, the Scorecard grades states on their support for self-driving cars – one of the emerging tech categories that will help expand access to mobility and save lives.”
The 2017 Innovation Scorecard rankings are based on ten indicators comparing economic and educational data and the regulatory frameworks for workplace flexibility, ridesharing, homesharing, self-driving cars, drones and sustainable policies. To explore the full report and read state-by-state profiles, visit CTA’s interactive website at www.cta.tech/scorecard.