How CEOs Grade the Best/Worst States: 2014

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

May 8 2014 by ChiefExecutive.net


StateTaxation and RegulationWorkforce QualityLiving EnvironmentDirectionComments
Alabama6.205.956.34Flirts with minimum-wage increase while maintaining business tax-friendliness.
Alaska6.195.295.24Oil-tax reform helps competitiveness but minimum-wage hike is threatened.
Arizona6.716.707.09Despite coming new Apple factory, has trouble recovering from job losses.
Arkansas5.935.475.93Reduces some business taxes and manages to climb in job-growth rankings.
California1.746.216.79Shreds of hope in new laws in the margins, but just glad for Silicon Valley.
Colorado5.627.117.73Business-friendliness gets shaky as state deals with legal-marijuana fallout.
Connecticut2.516.466.12Embrace of minimum-wage boost pushes business to lower rung in Dante’s inferno.
Delaware7.066.826.35Job growth booms; regulatory reform offsets modest minimum-wage increase.
Florida7.936.888.13Machinery-tax exemption, housing boom rev up state’s job-growth engines.
Georgia6.797.067.33Legislature passes significant worker’s comp reform that cuts business costs.
Hawaii2.823.868.36Workers’ paradise keeps losing ground on job growth and entrepreneurship.
Idaho6.136.806.13Exempts small business from some property taxes but jobs picture slides.
Illinois2.165.454.65Anti-growth hot mess can only coast on Chicago’s economic engine for so long.
Indiana7.577.747.1Presses friendliness by trimming several taxes; right to work blossoms.
Iowa6.728.447.56Enacts historic across-the-board property-tax cut though job growth lags.
Kansas6.576.716.57Historic tax cuts may help job growth that is wobbling in relative terms.
Kentucky5.576.056.43Business interests on the defensive as job growth slides to bottom.
Louisiana7.237.247.96Its high-tech side emerges by landing major IBM site for Baton Rouge.
Maine3.445.316.25Fiscally tight Gov. LePage is battling tax-increase efforts by legislature.
Maryland2.936.245.93Push for minimum-wage boost and paid family leave unsettles businesses.
Massachusetts2.526.455.59At least state legislature is resisting Gov. Patrick push for highest minimum wage.
Michigan3.524.844.52With right to work, Gov. Snyder now goes after business personal-property taxes.
Minnesota3.587.706.91Toxic environment grows with big boosts in taxes and minimum wage.
Mississippi5.665.025.28Job growth rises and it exempts manufacturers from paying energy sales tax.
Missouri6.777.007.38Life-sciences victories help boost state to top half in job growth last year.
Montana6.005.406.47Nibbled at tax rates last year but needs more reform to reignite growth.
Nebraska7.007.676.87Sadly, Gov. Heineman punted on chance to eliminate personal income tax.
Nevada7.376.256.56Relative job growth slides as education-funding initiative threatens progress.
New Hampshire6.006.837.39Relies on lack of sales tax to keep burnishing its appeal to business.
New Jersey2.385.664.21Gov. Christie has helped but legislature did end run for higher minimum wage.
New Mexico5.465.466.54Enacts huge cut in corporate income-tax rate as attractiveness brightens.
New York2.025.994.82Startup NY makes media splash but favors only narrow niche of companies.
North Carolina7.237.628.09Passes tax-reform package hailed as by some as any state’s best in two decades.
North Dakota7.747.135.95Energy boom funds surprise $850-million property-tax reduction for residents.
Ohio5.496.775.85Movement on taxes is mixed by business size as right-to-work is tabled.
Oklahoma7.076.646.43Trims some taxes but remains income-tax “sandwich” between neighbors.
Oregon3.706.196.96Keeps loading on taxes and entitlements but job growth soars anyway.
Pennsylvania3.615.635.38Natural gas fuels jobs boom while state keeps holding the line on taxes.
Rhode Island2.335.004.5High-tax, high-unemployment basket case now must bail out government pensioners.
South Carolina7.377.228.16Manages to boost highway-infrastructure spending without penalizing business.
South Dakota8.587.587.08Employment shows vigor as legislature enacts economic-development package.
Tennessee7.817.237.89Rock-solid labor reputation takes a hit from VW dalliance with UAW.
Texas8.458.027.73Job growth remains stellar though slips to No. 4 from No. 3 percentage-wise.
Utah7.717.948.09Keeps knocking the lights out as it grows professional-services trade.
Vermont2.695.136.31State-led Obamacare revolution and now businesses are paying the price.
Virginia6.718.218.02Fades a bit in job growth and entrepreneurial fervor but keeps low taxes.
Washington5.086.736.95Strong job growth defies nation’s highest minimum wage at $9.32 an hour.
West Virginia4.634.504.13Cut in worker’s comp rates helps offset troubles besetting coal industry.
Wisconsin5.867.436.82Continues climb in tax-friendliness and now tackles regulatory reform.
Wyoming8.456.827.05Libertarian streak keeps taxes sleek enough to rank No. 1 with Tax Foundation.

State(State GDP) % Growth 2011-2012% GDP Growth 2011-2012 Compared to Nat'l Avg of 2.5%Unemployment Rate % Dec. 2013Comparison with National Unemployment Rate of 6.7%
Alabama1.20-1.306.1-0.60
Alaska1.10-1.406.4-0.30
Arizona2.600.107.60.90
Arkansas1.30-1.207.40.70
California3.501.008.31.60
Colorado2.10-0.406.2-0.50
Connecticut-0.10-2.607.40.70
Delaware0.20-2.306.2-0.50
Florida2.40-0.106.2-0.50
Georgia2.10-0.407.40.70
Hawaii1.60-0.904.5-2.20
Idaho0.40-2.105.7-1.00
Illinois1.90-0.608.61.90
Indiana3.300.806.90.20
Iowa2.40-0.104.2-2.50
Kansas1.40-1.104.9-1.80
Kentucky1.40-1.108.01.30
Louisiana1.50-1.005.7-1.00
Maine0.50-2.006.2-0.50
Maryland2.40-0.106.1-0.60
Massachusetts2.20-0.307.00.30
Michigan2.20-0.308.41.70
Minnesota3.501.004.6-2.10
Mississippi2.40-0.108.01.30
Missouri2.00-0.505.9-0.80
Montana2.10-0.405.2-1.50
Nebraska1.50-1.003.6-3.10
Nevada1.50-1.008.82.10
New Hampshire0.50-2.005.1-1.60
New Jersey1.30-1.207.30.60
New Mexico0.20-2.306.4-0.30
New York1.30-1.207.10.40
North Carolina2.700.206.90.20
North Dakota13.4010.902.6-4.10
Ohio2.20-0.307.20.50
Oklahoma2.10-0.405.4-1.30
Oregon3.901.407.00.30
Pennsylvania1.70-0.806.90.20
Rhode Island1.40-1.109.12.40
South Carolina2.700.206.6-0.10
South Dakota0.20-2.303.6-3.10
Tennessee3.300.807.81.10
Texas4.802.306.0-0.70
Utah3.400.904.1-2.60
Vermont1.20-1.304.2-2.50
Virginia1.10-1.405.2-1.50
Washington3.601.106.6-0.10
West Virginia3.300.805.9-0.80
Wisconsin1.50-1.006.2-0.50
Wyoming0.20-2.304.4-2.30


StateDomestic Net MigrationRankDept per Capita Fiscal YearState and Local Gov't Employees(State-local Tax Burden) RateCompared to Natnl Average
Alabama451211,967615.38.2%-1.68%
Alaska-4,006359,294766.07.0%-2.89%
Arizona26,41762,080473.18.4%-1.45%
Arkansas-2,031291,169585.310.0%0.16%
California-49,259483,915504.611.2%1.37%
Colorado36,28443,111541.99.1%-0.77%
Connecticut-17,224438,500537.412.3%2.41%
Delaware3,010186,932598.89.2%-0.66%
Florida91,48422,381489.59.3%-0.55%
Georgia-6,347361,301545.79.0%-0.90%
Hawaii-1,457275,839559.810.1%0.24%
Idaho4,579162,399538.69.4%-0.49%
Illinois-67,313495,569503.110.2%0.34%
Indiana-1,179253,227536.39.6%-0.27%
Iowa671202,657611.29.6%-0.28%
Kansas-12,557422,648676.79.7%-0.21%
Kentucky-2,290303,520582.79.4%-0.51%
Louisiana-2,492324,345605.17.8%-2.11%
Maine-1,423264,363580.710.3%0.40%
Maryland-8,525404,543535.210.2%0.33%
Massachusetts-2,8333311,790517.510.4%0.57%
Michigan-28,539453,097491.09.8%-0.02%
Minnesota-1,147242,712541.810.8%0.93%
Mississippi-7,038372,453647.78.7%-1.17%
Missouri-7,612383,609557.39.0%-0.91%
Montana5,467144,521585.28.6%-1.25%
Nebraska-695231,306642.09.7%-0.17%
Nevada12,854101,434431.98.2%-1.63%
New Hampshire-2,355316,743550.08.1%-1.76%
New Jersey-45,035477,659593.012.4%2.56%
New Mexico-10,526413,525680.48.4%-1.42%
New York-104,470507,366634.512.8%2.90%
North Carolina37,24032,005599.79.9%0.05%
North Dakota16,96183,213649.58.9%-0.96%
Ohio-23,094442,873534.69.7%-0.15%
Oklahoma14,26892,837597.98.7%-1.13%
Oregon10,215123,913509.210.0%0.10%
Pennsylvania-30,718463,667478.410.2%0.38%
Rhode Island-3,922348,471510.810.9%0.99%
South Carolina29,32453,271577.28.4%-1.49%
South Dakota4,762154,551545.77.6%-2.28%
Tennessee12,64911911527.87.7%-2.15%
Texas113,52811,344563.97.9%-1.93%
Utah5,567132,939494.99.3%-0.58%
Vermont-653225,787641.010.1%0.25%
Virginia3,099173,417574.09.3%-0.61%
Washington17,02774,213527.39.3%-0.57%
West Virginia-1,894284,375558.59.7%-0.15%
Wisconsin-8,158394,292503.011.1%1.21%
Wyoming2,616191,958918.37.8%-2.09%


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

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