State leaders often rely heavily on incentive-based strategies to lure businesses into their state. Tax incentives and financial incentives are two of the most common types of incentive programs states utilize, but in recent years, state strategies have broadened, moving beyond these traditional methods. The State Business Incentive Database allows you to access to key incentive information for each state, including a list and description of incentives and tax rates along with indicators like education attainment rates and median income. 

Measuring your state’s performance and using that data to strategically place resources is key to implementing the accountable, transparent and results-focused governance policies citizens expect—especially as states are expected to do more with less.  States Perform—an interactive database from The Council of State Governments—will help you do just that. States Perform provides access to outcomes and indicators that measure how states are performing across six key policy areas: education, public safety and justice, energy and environment, economic and fiscal policy, health and human services and transportation. 

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that unemployment rates will remain above 8 percent until the third quarter of 2014, but that rate will fall to a relatively low 5.5 percent by 2016. In the third quarter of 2008, unemployment rates hit six percent, but quickly jumped to 8.2 percent only two quarters later. The unemployment rate has not fallen below 8 percent since the first quarter of 2009. 

In July 2011, the national unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent, remaining virtually unchanged for four months. Compared to June 2011, 28 states and the District of Columbia reported unemployment rate increases in July while 9 had decreases and 13 had no change.