The collective knowledge and capabilities of the U.S. workforce is worth an estimated $240 trillion,” wrote Joe Parilla, a fellow at Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, in a December 2019 research note, “four times more valuable than the country’s physical capital stock and 10 times more valuable than all the urban land in the United States.”
What form does that value take? One way to quantify it is by professional certifications. According to the Labor Market Information Institute’s analysis of Current Population Survey data made available by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 18% of the United States civilian non-institutional population aged 16 years or older has a certification or license, ranging from 14.8% in California to 22.1% in Maine.
It can take monetary form too: Nationally, the average personal income rose to about $54,000 last year, up 4% after inflation; and the typical county saw a 3% rise. No. 1 among the counties with the largest per capita income gains in that time was Midland County, Texas, where the average personal income grew to $124,455, a 57% increase, and now ranks 10th in the nation, “jumping ahead of wealthy places like Santa Clara in Silicon Valley and the hedge fund hub of Fairfield, Connecticut,” reports the Pew Center on the States.
Building our readers’ knowledge and capabilities (including about the very talent discussed above) is the purpose of State of the States 2020, Site Selection’s annual compendium of data that matter to global corporate location decision-makers. This edition includes the fifth annual installment of Rankings That Matter, where the six-point scoreboard features the following:
|Rank in 2018 Higher Education R&D Expenditure (Total in $000s in parentheses)|
|Rank in the Tax Foundation’s 2020 State Business Tax Climate Index (Oct. 2019)|
|Rank in percent improvement in ACT National Career Readiness Certificates earned by working-age adults between Dec. 2018 and Dec. 2019 (total number and percent improvement shown below graph)|
|Rank in Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate state rankings by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ IT and Research Division, October 2018|
|Rank by Lowest Industrial Electric Power Cost (¢/kWh, EIA)|
|Rank in Fiscal Health expressed as Total Revenue as a Share of Total Expenses, FY 2004-2018 (based on data from Pew Center on the States, Dec. 2019)|
Mix and match these data points according to your own organization’s site selection priorities, and let the facts guide you toward the best location choice.
This report was compiled, edited and designed by Mark Arend, Adam Bruns, Gary Daughters, Karen Medernach, Daniel Boyer, McKenzie Wright, Brian Espinoza and Richard Nenoff.
Adam Bruns has served as managing editor of Site Selection magazine since February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.