Volume 103, Number 22 - February 1, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Nonprofit organization releases 2007 development report card for states
by Nikki Mann
The recently released 2007 development report card from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) highlighted serious shortcomings and strengths for the state. A release by the CFED highlighted some of its more interesting findings.
Among the findings was the conclusion that Wyoming lacks a balanced economy. The state has a high employment demand but “fairly low job quality.” The average annual pay was also low (42nd in the nation) and the jobs were less likely to provide health benefits(35th). However, the state had a high quality of life with moderately low rates of heart disease (14th) and infant mortality (16th) coupled with a better than average home ownership rate (18th). The state also ranked well in parts of education, with a high investment and great outcomes in grades K-12, but very low rates of students attending college.
Wyoming again ranked the worst in the nation for resource efficiency; an F for 50 out of 50 states.
This is the 20th Development Report Card of the states by the nonprofit corporation CFED, whose goal is to expand economic opportunity.
The states received overall ranking in three general categories. Wyoming got a B in “performance,” a C for “development capacity” and a dismal D for “business vitality.” The three general categories were further broken down into 15 more specific categories. Among Wyoming’s achievements was an A in employment with a ranking or 3rd out of 50 states in the nation. Wyoming also received an A in equity, ranking 4th, and an A in amenity resources and natural capita, ranking 9th. The state achieved two more A’s in quality of life and human resources, both ranking 10th.
Wyoming’s worst grade was an F in resource efficiency and a ranking of 50th. The state also did poorly in business vitality, ranking 45th with a D. Innovation assets made the D cutoff, ranking 42nd, but dropped 7 state rankings from the previous year. Infrastructure resources also fell in the state rankings by 10 places from the previous year, giving it a D and ranking Wyoming 40th. Entrepreneurial energy, while receiving a D and only ranking the state 42nd in the nation, at least gained 4 ranks from the previous year. Competitiveness of existing businesses almost made the cutoff for a better grade, but not quite. Wyoming received a D in that category as well, ranking it 37th in the nation, but was up 12 ranks from the previous year.
The grades for the 15 categories were based on a study that used 67 measures to asses the economy’s performance for both citizens and business, and to evaluate how well the state is situated for the future. Among the more interesting results of the study’s 67 measures was the fact that Wyoming generated the highest amount of greenhouse gas emissions and had the most vehicle miles traveled of any state. The state also came in a failing 49th for per capita energy consumption, 47th for the rate of recycled waste and 43rd on the toxic release inventory, leaving no doubt as to why Wyoming failed the resource efficiency section.
Many sections had dramatic differences between their results. In competitiveness of existing businesses, Wyoming ranked 3rd for manufacturing investments, but 49th for industrial diversity. The difference in the human resources section between high school attainment (3rd) and college attainment (44th) was equally as stark.
Wyoming did not fail to exhibit this same contrast in infrastructure resources. The state ranked a respectable 10th in highway performance, but again bottomed out at 50th place in electronic public services.
For a complete report card, please visit www.cfed.org/go/drc.
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