2014 Best & Worst States

Wyoming is the 18th Best State for Business 2014

Wyoming has two major issues on the table right now that could affect the future economy: 1) a series of bridges that are in disrepair and will require funding, and the question of emission standards for coal-fired plants. As the lead coal supplier in the U.S., Gov. Mead told the Associated Press that the EPA’s new requirements would adversely affect Wyoming’s economy. Wyoming supplies about 40% of the U.S. coal supply.

Colorado is the 16th Best State for Business 2014

In addition to the business activity that legalized marijuana is driving, Colorado is also considered a good state for startups, ranking No. 6 in the Kaufmann Index with its legacy of technology and new-age food companies. Four of Colorado’s cities—Boulder, Fort Collins-Loveland, Denver and Colorado Springs—were considered top U.S. metro areas for high-tech startup density.

Wisconsin is the 14th Best State for Business 2014

“Since taking office in 2011, my number one goal has been to help the private sector create jobs by establishing a favorable climate for economic growth,” Gov. Walker told Chief Executive magazine. Chief Executive’s ranking, he said, reflects the improved business climate in Wisconsin resulting from “our aggressive strategy to grow the economy, develop our workforce, transform education, reform government, and invest in our infrastructure.”

Idaho is the 28th Best State for Business 2014

Gas pipelines could provide the boost that the Idaho economy needs. In addition, an Idaho Division of Financial Management report states that non-farm employment in the potato-growing state should return to pre-recession levels by next year.

Iowa is the 19th Best State for Business 2014

Gov. Terry Branstad is working on legislature that would make Iowa attractive to returning vets looking for work and education. Called Home Base Iowa, the bill will exempt taxes for the nearly 8,000 returning Iowa vets. In addition, he has a plan for creating 200,000+ new jobs over the next five years.

Nebraska is the 21st Best State for Business 2014

Eric Thompson, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln economist, reports that the state is seeing moderate growth. In addition, KOLN-TV reports that tech jobs are keep graduates in the farming state. Gov. David Heineman is actively recruiting veterans, and the state recently launched a recruitment mobile app.

California is the Worst State for Business for the Tenth Year in a Row

Despite its woes, California maintains its strength as a tech hub, being the home for Silicon Valley startups and investors, as well as the headquarters location for high-tech organizations such as Apple, Google, Cisco and Intel.

Vermont is the 39th Best State for Business 2014

Vermont’s rank is 15 spots below New Hampshire, but well above New York, which came in second to last. Maine was 36th, while Massachusetts fell into the bottom five, at 46th.

New Mexico Is 30th Best State for Business 2014

New Mexico’s GDP growth is significantly lower than other states at just 0.2%, compared to Florida’s 2.4% and Texas’ 4.8%. However, both its unemployment and tax rates are lower than the national average (6.4% and 8.4%, respectively). It's also suffering from growing pains, including traffic gluts and increased crime in the Carlsbad area. In Albuquerque, the city has received a $100,000 grant, which it plans to use to build a research district, called Innovate Albuquerque, and generate new jobs.

Arkansas is the 29th Best State for Business 2014

Improving international trade is one way to boost the economy. Recently, a Vietnamese furniture maker opened up a factory in Arkansas, investing $5 million into the local economy and adding 75 jobs, according to the Southwest Times Record.
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