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U.S. Department of Commerce: Enterprising States

In its Enterprising States report, the Department of Commerce finds that while the federal government has helped mitigate the recession's effects, states will drive future economic growth.

Federal stimulus dollars have helped to jumpstart the economy, but Enterprising States, a report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says that states and territories will lead the country's economic growth over the next decade. In the next 10 years, the country must create 20 million jobs to bring back the seven million lost during the recession and create the estimated 13 million jobs the nation will eventually require.

States vary in their strengths and approaches to economic growth. North Dakota led in job growth over the past decade. Montana was a top spot for entrepreneurs. Tennessee made strides in taxing and regulations, and Minnesota focused on work force development and training.

"America is a vast country made up of hundreds of diverse economies," wrote study co-author Joel Kotkin. "The flexibility to match local strengths with global needs will be paramount. It is local knowledge and local energy - among local officials and individual businesspeople and entrepreneurs - that will make the difference."

The report found that states are more active than the federal government when it comes to job creation and economic development. Many states with the highest taxes and strictest business regulations are now experiencing the worst budget deficits and discouraging businesses and residents from settling there. Science, technology, and cleantech sectors continue to grow across the country.

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