Doing Business Survey »
2. South Carolina
5. North Carolina
4. South Carolina
7. North Carolina
3. South Carolina
8. North Carolina
Eric Stavriotis, Senior Vice President, Strategic Consulting, Jones Lang LaSalle
Scott Redabaugh, Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle
Kathy Mussio, Managing Partner, Atlas Insight
About half of all states, for example, were not ranked as being competitive in a single category. Yet these omitted states include [many] of those with the lowest unemployment rates during 2012. Other omissions were equally surprising. Texas, for example, did not rank among the top five states in terms of competitive labor costs; nor did any northeastern state appear among the [top-five] in terms of those with the greatest availability of skilled labor. That is not to say that there is a total disconnect between the survey results and the real economy. No one can argue, for example, that in terms of overall regulatory and tax climate the southern states are every bit as competitive as the survey's results suggest.
What the survey fails to capture, however, is the tremendous progress that almost all states have made in improving their business climates post-Great-Recession. Moreover, different states respond very differently depending upon the type of project that is being considered. And sometimes a state that responded really well to one project appears disinterested in another. In my experience, state competitiveness is best-measured one project at a time.