New Hampshire (No. 26): Gaining Ground
Top-ranked by Chief Executive readers in the Northeast, New Hampshire has historically functioned as an extension of the Greater Boston area. The Granite State has lagged behind Massachusetts in post-recession economic recovery; only now is it regaining all the jobs lost in the Great Recession. Manufacturing productivity continues to grow, although hiring is, and is expected to remain, sluggish. Fastest growth will take place in business services, leisure and hospitality, education and healthcare. New Hampshire’s lack of sales tax has burnished the state’s reputation for being anti-tax. The Tax Foundation ranks it 7th lowest in tax burden in the country and 8th in its State Business Tax Climate Index. New Hampshire spends upwards of $39 million a year on business incentive programs, the most popular being corporate income tax credits
and cash grants.
Delaware (No. 27): A Pro-Business Legacy
Job growth continues to edge forward at under 2 percent annually, while the unemployment rate seems stalled at 7 percent in Delaware, where more than half the nation’s publicly-traded companies are incorporated—courtesy of the state’s pro-business corporate law. Dominated by companies owned or controlled by the DuPont industrial family, the state’s $66 billion GDP is driven by banking, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, technology and healthcare. Increased worker compensation costs darken prospects in the construction industry. The Tax Foundation ranks Delaware’s tax burden 20th lowest in the U.S. and ranks it 13th on its Business Tax Climate Index. Delaware spends over $43 million per year on incentive programs, according to The New York Times, predominantly cash grants, loans and loan guarantees, as well as corporate income tax credits. Top incentives go to the finance industry.
Maine (No. 35): Job Growth Continuing
Maine’s chief industrial products are paper, lumber and wood products, electronic equipment, leather products, food products, textiles and biotech products. Key employers include shipbuilders and construction firms. Maine assembled four consecutive quarters of positive job growth in 2013, the first year that’s happened since 2008. Job growth is expected to continue this year and next at the rate of about 4,000 new jobs annually. The Tax Foundation ranks Maine’s tax burden 9th highest in the country, and ranks the Pine Tree State 29th in its State Business Tax Climate Index. Maine spends over $504 million per year on incentive programs, according to The New York Times, primarily sales tax refunds and exemptions. The lion’s share goes to manufacturers.