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Group Ranks Idaho High On Scale Of Business ‘Dynamism’

Economic Innovation Group
According to one economic think tank, Idaho is the 9th most dynamic state when it comes to business.

The Economic Innovation Group is a Washington D.C.-based research and advocacy group focused on the decline of entrepreneurship and rising income inequality. Policy director John Lettieri says despite a popular narrative that disruption and change is constant in the business world, entrepreneurship across the country is actually quite static.

Lettieri says low job turnover, employment in startup companies and slow migration patterns represent that something fundamental is changing in the economy.

“If we don’t even have the right premise about how much change is happening and what the effects are," says Lettieri, "then we certainly can’t find the right solution.”

EIG created a "dynamism index" that ranks each state using these metrics. Turns out the most successful states tend to be in the American West.

“They tend to be younger states, both in terms of population and in terms of their housing stock. They tend to not be overly reliant on legacy industries like manufacturing. And Idaho checks just about all of those different boxes.”

The Gem State comes in 9th on the index. But Lettieri says that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. He cautions the state against making too many government regulations, especially in areas such as licensing.

“Occupational licensing, when it’s too expansive and covers too many industries, research really finds over and over again it disproportionately hurts people who are lower income, workers and entrepreneurs, it also hurts the ability for people to move from one state to another.”

He says overall, Idaho is in a position to grow its startup culture, especially as the population continues to increase.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio

Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.