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How CEOs Grade the Best/Worst States: 2012

Here’s a look at how our CEOs graded the states for this year’s survey. For additional reference are other important state statistics.

RATINGS1 DEVELOPMENT TREND INDICATOR
STATE TAXATION AND
REGULATION
WORKFORCE
QUALITY
LIVING DIRECTION COMMENT
Alabama 6.59 6.06 6.41 Change in political control unleashes efforts to tackle businesses’ concerns.
Alaska 6.65 5.30 4.85 Light tax burden struggles to overcome other impediments to competitiveness.
Arizona 6.91 6.72 7.13 Entrepreneurial activity surges as companies hope for personal-property tax relief.
Arkansas 6.63 6.05 6.75 Agreeable environment on taxes and other business concerns continues.
California 1.74 5.82 6.73 Sucking sound continues as frustrated businesses leave state for friendlier climes.
Colorado 6.48 7.74 8.55 Business has backed health-insurance exchange; entrepreneurs still like the mountains.
Connecticut 2.61 6.76 6.24 Businesses in high-tax state bracing for possible boost in minimum wage.
Delaware 7.81 7.39 7.36 Entrepreneurs buck economy but companies fret about push to raise minimum wage.
Florida 7.27 6.73 8.07 New tax relief—and boosterish Gov. Scott—excite owners and executives.
Georgia 6.61 7.31 7.55 More conservative statehouse holds line on taxes; workforce becomes major plus.
Hawaii 2.92 4.26 8.66 Tax-and-regulate approach to business also stifles entrepreneurial gains.
Idaho 7.18 7.69 8.28 Keeps entrepreneurs happy with fewest health mandates of any state.
Illinois 2.31 5.84 5.11 New tax burdens drive business-unfriendliness to new lows.
Indiana 7.40 7.73 7.27 Becoming right-to-work state already making it a bigger magnet for business.
Iowa 6.42 7.70 7.19 Does better job of harnessing locational possibilities for food technology.
Kansas 6.75 7.55 6.80 Inches up in several new measures of business friendliness.
Kentucky 5.84 6.68 6.61 State focus on gambling issue robs attention from needed business reforms.
Louisiana 7.03 6.83 7.21 Surge in business-friendliness continues with reforms in education and public pensions.
Maine 3.75 6.33 7.25 New governor’s tax cuts gain business favor and spur some job growth.
Maryland 3.63 6.34 6.08 Income-tax increases on “middle class” nick and frustrate business owners.
Massachusetts 2.33 6.39 5.43 Entrepreneurs leveraging brainpower, but new family-leave law bites companies.
Michigan 3.44 5.19 4.56 Tax cuts and simplification bode well for future under new Gov. Snyder.
Minnesota 3.82 7.14 6.57 Divided statehouse stalls progress on tort reform and other business concerns.
Mississippi 5.81 5.10 5.14 Business-friendly politics are newly in the air, encouraging companies and owners.
Missouri 5.71 6.42 6.57 Surges in entrepreneurial activity and holds its own in tax climate for business.
Montana 7.35 6.85 7.85 Politicians address effects of dangerous jobs in boosting worker’s comp rates.
Nebraska 7.47 7.82 7.24 Tax-friendliness can’t overcome other stresses on business and job creation.
Nevada 8.03 6.33 6.53 New Gov. Sandoval whacks regulations to try to jump-start moribund economy.
New Hampshire 6.91 7.17 7.52 Statehouse continues tax-friendly ways and nurtures entrepreneurial spark.
New Jersey 2.95 6.00 5.04 Gov. Christie’s boldness rallies business, but possible minimage-wage boost looms.
New Mexico 4.75 4.90 6.35 Businesses would like to see more progress on regulatory morass.
New York 2.12 6.11 5.09 Gov. Cuomo has pleasantly surprised business but plenty of problems remain.
North Carolina 7.09 7.95 8.41 Stalled recently on issues including tort reform, school funding and taxes.
North Dakota 8.65 7.61 5.87 Drilling makes frothy economy ever better, creating growth and opportunity.
Ohio 4.25 6.38 5.89 Public-pension ploy didn’t work, but bellwether state is going business-friendly.
Oklahoma 7.31 7.14 6.74 Business-friendliness keeps bringing influx of workers and companies.
Oregon 3.50 5.73 6.95 Slips in a year when battle over health-insurance exchange dominates.
Pennsylvania 3.97 6.44 6.10 While fracking ignites economy, statehouse helps with badly needed tort reform.
Rhode Island 2.55 5.79 5.89 Puts big burdens on business as state struggles to escape fiscal hole.
South Carolina 7.02 7.04 7.79 Is now tackling reform of taxes, worker’s comp and unemployment insurance.
South Dakota 8.71 7.42 6.75 Suffers with middling company-friendliness and sti! competition to north.
Tennessee 7.78 7.37 7.94 Business community awaits substantial unemployment-insurance reform.
Texas 8.58 8.05 7.94 Still a leading jobs magnet, but persistent drought pinches many businesses.
Utah 7.95 8.73 8.43 Ground-breaking health-insurance exchange is big new risk in business-friendly state.
Vermont 2.35 5.35 5.85 Nation’s sole single-payer health-reform law awaits Obamacare decision.
Virginia 7.07 7.98 8.07 Has focused on entrepreneur-friendliness and leveraging higher-ed advantages.
Washington 4.34 6.68 6.70 Lack of income tax strains to hide other financial and regulatory snares for business.
West Virginia 5.36 5.28 5.12 Excitement over business potential of Marcellus Shale isn’t yet realized.
Wisconsin 5.56 7.48 7.27 New conservative statehouse is shaking things up, drawing business favor.
Wyoming 8.89 7.50 7.51 Feather-light tax burden can only get so much done; awaiting more gas drilling.

 

STATE GDP2 UNEMPLOYMENT3
STATE % GROWTH
2007-2010
% 2007–2010 GROWTH vs.
NAT’L AVERAGE
(-0.33)
UNEMPLOYMENT
RATE %
DEC. 2011
COMPARISON WITH
NATIONAL
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE %
(8.50%)
Alabama -1.10% -0.76% 8.10 0.40
Alaska 10.53% 10.86% 7.30 -1.20
Arizona -6.70% -6.37% 8.70 0.20
Arkansas 0.69% 1.03% 7.70 -0.80
California -2.08% -1.74% 11.10 2.60
Colorado 2.84% 3.17% 7.90 -0.60
Connecticut 0.51% 0.85% 8.20 -0.30
Delaware -1.54% -1.21% 7.40 -1.10
Florida -5.70% -5.36% 9.90 1.40
Georgia -4.42% -4.08% 9.70 1.20
Hawaii -0.56% -0.23% 6.60 -1.90
Idaho -1.57% -1.23% 8.40 -0.10
Illinois -1.74% -1.40% 9.80 1.30
Indiana -1.41% -1.08% 9.00 0.50
Iowa 0.30% 0.64% 5.60 -2.90
Kansas 0.00% 0.34% 6.30 -2.20
Kentucky 1.66% 1.99% 9.10 0.60
Louisiana 5.29% 5.62% 6.80 -1.70
Maine -0.81% -0.48% 7.00 -1.50
Maryland 3.06% 3.39% 6.70 -1.80
Massachusetts 2.35% 2.69% 6.80 -1.70
Michigan -6.37% -6.03% 9.30 0.80
Minnesota 1.56% 1.89% 5.70 -2.80
Mississippi 0.06% 0.39% 10.40 1.90
Missouri -1.05% -0.72% 8.00 -0.50
Montana -1.22% -0.88% 6.80 -1.70
Nebraska 3.39% 3.73% 4.10 -4.40
Nevada -10.04% -9.70% 12.60 4.10
New Hampshire -0.47% -0.13% 5.10 -3.40
New Jersey -1.33% -1.00% 9.00 0.50
New Mexico 4.42% 4.76% 6.60 -1.90
New York 1.55% 1.88% 8.00 -0.50
North Carolina 0.12% 0.46% 9.90 1.40
North Dakota 18.24% 18.57% 3.30 -5.20
Ohio -3.73% -3.39% 8.10 -0.40
Oklahoma 2.87% 3.20% 6.10 -2.40
Oregon 2.44% 2.78% 8.90 0.40
Pennsylvania 1.44% 1.77% 7.60 -0.90
Rhode Island -1.14% -0.80% 10.80 2.30
South Carolina -2.18% -1.84% 9.50 1.00
South Dakota 9.84% 10.17% 4.20 -4.30
Tennessee -0.91% -0.58% 8.70 0.20
Texas 3.13% 3.46% 7.80 -0.70
Utah 1.10% 1.43% 6.00 -2.50
Vermont 1.17% 1.50% 5.10 -3.40
Virginia 3.70% 4.04% 6.20 -2.3
Washington 0.21% 0.54% 8.50 0.00
West Virginia 6.90% 7.23% 7.90 -0.60
Wisconsin -1.45% -1.11% 7.10 -1.40
Wyoming 15.44% 15.77% 5.80 -2.70

 

DOMESTIC MIGRATION4 STATE GOVERNMENT5 STATE-LOCAL TAX BURDEN6
STATE DOMESTIC NET MIGRATION
(2000-2009)
RANK DEBT PER CAPITA
FISCAL YEAR
2010
STATE & LOCAL
GOV’T EMPLOYEES
PER 10,000 RESIDENTS
RATE COMPARED TO NATIONAL
AVERAGE (9.8%)
Alabama 87,199 14 1,841 615.31 8.50% -1.30%
Alaska -7,630 29 9,032 766.00 6.35% -3.45%
Arizona 696,793 3 2,188 473.07 8.67% -1.13%
Arkansas 75,163 16 1,464 585.28 9.87% 0.07%
California -1,490,105 49 4,008 504.56 10.59% 0.79%
Colorado 202,735 10 3,335 541.89 8.59% -1.21%
Connecticut -94,376 41 8,465 537.40 12.03% 2.23%
Delaware 45,424 18 6,157 598.78 9.58% -0.22%
Florida 1,154,213 1 2,155 489.48 9.25% -0.55%
Georgia 550,369 5 1,426 545.70 9.12% -0.68%
Hawaii -29,022 33 5,682 559.77 9.62% -0.18%
Idaho 110,279 13 2,478 538.62 9.37% -0.43%
Illinois -614,616 48 4,790 503.13 9.97% 0.17%
Indiana -21,467 32 3,650 536.29 9.49% -0.31%
Iowa -49,589 39 1,690 611.24 9.53% -0.27%
Kansas -67,762 40 2,276 676.73 9.71% -0.09%
Kentucky 81,711 15 3,323 582.67 9.28% -0.52%
Louisiana -311,368 44 3,861 605.08 8.18% -1.62%
Maine 29,260 23 4,542 580.68 10.13% 0.33%
Maryland -95,775 42 4,250 535.20 10.01% 0.21%
Massachussets -274,772 43 11,310 517.50 10.02% 0.22%
Michigan -537,471 47 3,251 491.02 9.67% -0.13%
Minnesota -46,635 38 2,206 541.81 10.29% 0.49%
Mississippi -36,061 35 2,182 647.68 8.73% -1.07%
Missouri 41,278 20 3,416 557.33 9.05% -0.75%
Montana 39,853 21 4,430 585.20 8.74% -1.06%
Nebraska -39,275 36 1,279 642.00 9.81% 0.01%
Nevada 361,512 6 1,646 431.88 7.48% -2.32%
New Hampshire 32,588 22 6,341 550.01 8.04% -1.76%
New Jersey -451,407 46 6,944 592.98 12.21% 2.41%
New Mexico 26,383 24 4,261 680.41 8.38% -1.42%
New York -1,649,644 50 6,694 634.48 12.06% 2.26%
North Carolina 663,892 4 1,983 599.65 9.78% -0.02%
North Dakota -18,071 31 3,282 649.49 9.47% -0.33%
Ohio -361,038 45 2,703 534.59 9.71% -0.09%
Oklahoma 42,284 19 2,664 597.88 8.70% -1.10%
Oregon 177,375 11 3,533 509.15 9.76% -0.04%
Pennsylvania -33,119 34 3,526 478.44 10.05% 0.25%
Rhode Island -45,159 37 9,018 510.84 10.72% 0.92%
South Carolina 306,045 7 3,419 577.25 8.07% -1.73%
South Dakota 7,182 27 4,291 545.70 7.59% -2.21%
Tennessee 259,711 8 922 527.75 7.61% -2.19%
Texas 838,126 2 1,679 563.86 7.89% -1.91%
Utah 53,390 17 2,356 494.85 9.68% -0.12%
Vermont -1,505 28 5,585 641.03 10.18% 0.38%
Virginia 164,930 12 3,131 574.02 9.11% -0.69%
Washington 239,037 9 4,098 527.25 9.31 -0.49%
West Virginia 17,727 26 3,860 558.46 9.39% -0.41%
Wisconsin -11,981 30 3,929 503.04 10.98% 1.18%
Wyoming 22,883 25 2,694 918.30 7.80% -2.00%

Sources: Sources: 1Chief Executive Magazine, 2Bureau of Economic Analysis, 3Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4NewGeography.com, 5,6The Tax Foundation

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