Chief Executive magazine’s 10th annual Best & Worst States for Business rankings will be revealed May 8th. Where will your state stand?
This year, we compare the last five years with the Biggest Gainers and Losers from 2010, at a time when the economy was at a record low. Other analyses include the year-over-year biggest gains and losses and how automakers are redrawing their map, as well as the best and worst states for startups, biotech companies and crowdfunding. Also, you’ll read about what dozens of CEOs had to say about doing business in their respective states.
Let’s take a look back at last year’s rankings and at some significant events that are shaping many states right now:
- In 2013, Texas held its position for nine years running as the best state for business. It boasts a lower-than-national average unemployment rate (6.2% compared to 7.8%) and an annual GDP growth rate of 3.3%. Texas is home to companies such as ExxonMobil, AT&T, Dell and American Airlines.
- California, despite being ranked as the worst state for business in 2013 (the same as 2012), maintained its draw as a hub for technology with anchors Apple and Google, as well as companies such as BMW of North America and Banana Republic. Last week, however, Toyota announced that it planned to move its sales headquarters, currently in Torrance, Calif., to Plano, Texas.
- Missouri was the biggest gainer last year, rising nine spots to 22nd from 31st. Recently, Missouri lawmakers approved the launch of an economic development office in Israel for the purpose of building partnerships there with businesses in biotech, agriculture and other emerging fields.
- Michigan, the automotive hub of the United States and home to companies such as Domino’s Pizza, Bissell and Crain Communications, ranked 44th in 2013. The most notable news event for Michigan is that it became a “right to work” state in March, 2013. Business Leaders for Michigan, a member-based organization of the state’s largest job providers, is predicting that state growth will outpace U.S. economic growth this year.
- Nevada held its position at number 9 last year, compared to 2012. Recently, Nevada ranked in the bottom five states for high school graduation rates, but the number of Latinos graduating college in the state increased. If a pro-marijuana group gets its needed 101,000 petition signatures, Nevada could be the next state to legalize the drug.
- States that moved up the most in 2013 were Ohio—which jumped 13 places, Minnesota, Alabama, Arizona and Kansas. States that moved down the most in 2013 were Delaware—which dropped 13 places, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky and Wyoming.
- What are the leaders doing right and the laggards doing wrong? “California, New York and Illinois have high costs of living, high taxes and high regulation,” Mark Larson, CEO of Maxxcap Group, told Chief Executive magazine last May. By contrast, “States like Texas and Ohio are consistently trying to help us grow our business and are listening to the leaders of companies to help solve problems,” adds Terry Neal, CEO of Toledo-based Impact Products.
Will Texas retain its leading position? Will California move up from last place? Watch your mailboxes for the May/June issue of Chief Executive magazine, or tune in to ChiefExecutive.net on Thursday, May 8th for the big reveal of the 2014 Best & Worst States for Business.