While there is a level of constancy when it comes to the very best and very worst states for business, there is plenty of jockeying for position within the ranks, and even some leaping and plummeting.
It's that time of year again, the time when we reveal our Best & Worst States for Business. Until May 7th, take a look back at the 2014 ranking.
Arizona, which has been making news of late with the expansion of Apple’s sapphire plant in Mesa, has been cultivating high-tech innovation through its Innovation Challenge, which awards $250,000 to winning companies to start up their business in the sixth largest state.
The bioscience industry has become one of the most innovative and important economic drivers in the U.S., now accounting for more than 1.6 million jobs, nurturing a well-paid and highly skilled workforce and maintaining an American edge in a cluster of technologies that likely will be as important to this century as computerization was to the last.
New Jersey’s credit rating was recently downgraded by Moody’s in conjunction with an $807 million budget deficit, resulting in pension payments and school aid being at risk.
Under the previous governor, Scott Walker, Ohio became the No. 5 job creator in the nation and the No. 1 in the Midwest. Unemployment is now 6.5%, lowest in Ohio since June 2008. Likewise, Ohio has gone from an $8 billion deficit to a $1.5 billion surplus over the same period.
Since the 2013 ranking, the legislature passed significant worker’s comp reform that cut business costs, and CEOs were pleased.
Tourism for the first quarter was down slightly from the same period last year. Hawaii lawmakers passed an increased minimum wage bill earlier this year, increasing it from $7.25 to $10.10. And in April, the governor approved a bill that would allow the University of Hawaii to grow a crop of hemp, for use in biodiesel. The program should provide new jobs on the island.
With China lifting its 7-year ban on Virginia poultry, the state’s GDP may be on the rise. In addition, Dominion Virginia Power received a $47 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to build wind turbines off of Virginia Beach, which will bring jobs to the area.
For the tenth year in a row, CEOs rated Texas as the No. 1 state in which to do business. The Lone Star state also ranked as one of the seven best states for startups.