NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 4, 2010

The United States needs to create 20 million jobs over the next decade -- restoring the 7 million jobs lost to the current recession, and creating the 13 million new jobs that our growing nation will need in the next 10 years, according to a new report from the National Chamber Foundation (NCF) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's American Free Enterprise Dream Big Campaign. 

The authors of "Enterprising States" conclude that the states will play a pivotal role in achieving this goal by creating the conditions for competition, innovation and productivity through investments in workforce development and training, science and technology, and infrastructure.  Enterprise-friendly policies at the state level can facilitate local job growth by championing entrepreneurship and mobilizing effective partnerships for improving the conditions for business and job growth.  States, working together with businesses, can bolster exports in global markets. 

Major findings: 

  • States are much more active than the federal government on the job creation and economic development front; while the policies vary by state there is renewed focus nationwide on creating more favorable conditions for business growth.
  • State priorities vary considerably; the recent recession, however, leaves a number of important lessons and gives all states a chance to reassess, reboot and adopt proven strategies for the future.
  • High tax rates do not lead to either healthy economies or budgets; on the contrary, many states with the highest tax rates and most onerous regulatory regimes have experienced the worst budget crises. 


  • Many states have implemented initiatives for streamlining red tape to help businesses sort through the many layers of government regulation and have incentivized private sector investors primarily with tax credits.
  • There is widespread support for doubling exports but there are also states that have made significant headway using strategies for foreign direct investment (FDI).
  • Regional cultural variety could account for differences in entrepreneurial strength; how might we translate this culture of entrepreneurship to other regions? 

Source: Report, "Enterprising States," National Chamber Foundation/U.S. Chamber of Commerce, June 3, 2010. 

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