Based on the rankings of 500+ CEOs, Chief Executive magazine has named its best and worst states for business for 2011. The executives considered such factors as taxation, government regulations, quality of the work force, as well as quality of life. According to this latest poll of CEOs, Texas maintains its first place ranking - over the seven-year course of the study - as the best state in which to do business. With a tax-friendly environment (second-lowest taxes in the nation), ease of regulations, and ample labor force (it enjoys the highest inward net migration rate of any state), Texas ranked first with the CEOs.
Ranking second - for the second year in a row - is North Carolina, followed by Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia. North Carolina received high marks for its tax and regulatory environment, as well as the quality of its labor force, and especially for its living environment.
The states posting the largest gains in the rankings since 2010 are Wisconsin and Louisiana; and Louisiana and Oklahoma showed the greatest improvement over the last five years. Louisiana officials have worked to make their state more tax- and business-friendly over the last few years, and its efforts are being noticed.
Now how does this compare to Area Development's Gold and Silver Shovel awards for 2011, i.e., where did the large investments along with new jobs go last year? Interestingly, the states recognized by our publication as the top recipients of investment and generators of new jobs last year are Indiana, Michigan, and South Carolina. Indiana and South Carolina were ranked as the sixth and eighth best states for business, respectively, by the CEOs. However, the CEOs polled considered Michigan the fifth-worst state for business.
Area Development awarded Silver Shovels for their efforts to garner new investment and jobs to Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kansas, and Mississippi. Read the Chief Executive report to see how their findings compare with ours.