Study: Labor quality is biggest factor in business relocation decisions


The Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) has announced the publication of the annual 2018 Site Selector Perception Study. EDCUtah has been conducting research of site selectors for many years to identify what matters most in corporate relocation and how Utah performs across decision drivers.

The study reveals a disconnect between how site selectors view Utah and the actual business environment in the State. It also reveals factors about Utah that make it attractive to site selectors. The findings will allow EDCUtah to implement changes to its Strategic Recruiting Plan that will aim to reverse perception issues in order to fully reach Utah’s economic development potential.

“Site selectors are key players when it comes to business relocation decisions. They are consultants who consider a company’s needs in context of a location to provide expert advice to companies that wish to relocate,” said Theresa Foxley, president and CEO at EDCUtah. “This study gives insight into how the consulting process works, as well as extensive data about how site selectors view Utah as a relocation option.”

The survey revealed quality of labor as the most important decision driver site selectors’ clients are considering when looking to relocate. Other important drivers include availability of experienced labor, business-friendly government, and labor costs.

“There’s a lot here about labor,” explained Matt Hilburn, vice president of research and marketing. “We asked site selectors to rank 18 different decision drivers and many labor factors came up on top, though for most projects all 18 drivers are considered at some point.”

Site selectors indicated that Utah excels at quality of life, quality of labor, and cost of living, as well as other important elements such as government attitude towards business, and low labor costs.

Some misperceptions about Utah were revealed, including a misunderstanding about Utah’s industry strengths and labor concentration. Interestingly, site selectors who have visited Utah not only have a greater understanding of the State’s value, but are also more likely to recommend Utah to a client.

EDCUtah’s survey of 140 site selectors also included questions about the importance of corporate relocation incentives, which states have the best incentives, and what Utah can do to be more competitive with incentives.

“We have always felt that Utah’s incentives offer a great balance of providing value to a prospective company, while also providing value to the State and to Utahns, and we were glad to learn site selectors feel the same,” expressed Mike Flynn, COO at EDCUtah.

EDCUtah intends to design a strategic marketing plan not only to attract more site selectors to visit Utah, but also to educate those who have never been to the State.

“The fact is, Utah is a great place to do business,” proclaimed Foxley. “We take great pride and responsibility in helping others realize what thousands of companies already know—‘this is the right place.’”

Click HERE for the one-page highlights of the 2018 EDCUtah Site Selector Perception Study.

Click HEREfor the full 2018 EDCUtah Site Selector Perception Study research brief (18 pages).