It’s a new day in West Virginia. The achievements of 2007 illustrate our progress in developing a welcoming business climate for companies that want to do business here and create good jobs for West Virginia families.
West Virginia has made important strides in building a diversified economy. Historically, our state has depended on energy and manufacturing. Industries such as aerospace, automotive parts, chemicals and plastics remain valued contributors to the state’s economy. West Virginia also is expanding into new sectors such as biometrics, research and business services.
More than $6.6 billion worth of business investments have been made in our state’s economy since 2005, adding an estimated net increase of more than 22,800 jobs. The average unemployment rate in 2007 was 4.6 percent — the lowest average in the state’s history.
If West Virginia were a company about to be listed on the stock market, I’m confident the experts on Wall Street would recommend us as a buy. The state finished its best revenue collection year in recent history — without a tax increase. The state government’s budget ended with a surplus for the third year in a row, with $106.7 million.
The privatization of workers’ compensation has reduced costs by an average of 27 percent – resulting in savings of roughly $150 million for West Virginia companies. We have also removed $46.5 million of business tax burden in fiscal year 2008 and $100 million during the past three years.
Based on our growing economy and positive fiscal management practices, West Virginia bonds received a Moody’s Rating of Aa3 (bonds that are judged to be the best quality).
Contact the West Virginia Development Office to learn how the state’s open-for-business philosophy will make a difference for your business’s bottom line.
Joe Manchin III