Last year, Utah created jobs at a faster pace than any other state in the country — with the single exception of North Dakota. While the boom in North Dakota is being driven by oil and gas, the hot job market in Utah is being powered by technology companies.
Computer-system-design jobs in Utah shot up nearly 12 percent in 2011. Scientific and technical jobs jumped 9.7 percent. With job opportunities expanding, the state is having little trouble attracting new residents.
For Jill Layfield, the decision to move here from Silicon Valley was not a tough call.
Carla Castorina of Hurley, Miss. holds a sign supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney after a campaign rally at the Port of Pascagoula in Pascagoula, Miss. on March 8. Polls show a tight race in the state, which holds its primary on Tuesday.
Mitt Romney's stilted efforts to relate to Dixie voters by tossing off a few "y'alls" and references to grits have been roundly mocked as awkward pandering.
And rightfully so, says political scientist Marvin King, who cringed at the GOP candidate's sprinkling of vernacular and Southern stereotypes into his patter during appearances in Mississippi and Alabama. The two states hold their Republican presidential primaries Tuesday.
"You can tell Romney wasn't expecting to campaign down here, and it shows," says King of the University of Mississippi.