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2017 Top States Commentary: Availability of Existing Talent Should Also Be Taken into Account

Shovel-ready sites, speed of permitting, and workforce development programs put the South in the lead, but taking availability of existing talent into account may have place more populous states higher in the rankings.

Q3 2017
After participating in, and reviewing the results of the Top States for Doing Business Survey, there were a few items that jumped out at me as being quite interesting about the survey and the outcomes.

First of all, kudos to the Southeast! Out of the top 10 states in the rankings, only three were from outside of the general region (Ohio, Indiana, Texas). In fact, the lowest ranking received by a southeastern state was Florida at number 12, demonstrating the powerful pro-business message being shared by the region.

One of the other major items that jump out based on the results is the overwhelming performance of the top 10 states in what could be considered “speed to startup” categories. Nine of the top 10 overall performers were in the top 10 for Speed of Permitting and ranked no lower than 11 overall in their Shovel-Ready Sites Programs. This indicates that companies are very interested in being able to start their projects quickly and get to market as soon as possible.

On the post-construction side, nine of the top 10 performers were also in the top 10 for their Leading Workforce Development Programs. I personally took this category to mean the availability of training grant (or similar) programs, and I believe many of my peers did as well. Given the current state of the labor market, which is short on technical talent, it is understandable why these factors weighed so heavily in the states’ overall performance.

I would have to question, however, if there is not a major factor missing from the analysis, and that is the availability of talent overall. While states like New York, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Washington, and others did not perform as well in this survey, one would question that if availability of existing talent were factored into the analysis, and weighted heavily, would some of those more populated states make significant headway?

TOP STATES FOR DOING BUSINESS 2017

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.Texas
  4. 4.Tennessee
  5. 5.Louisiana
  6. 6.Alabama
  7. 7.Indiana
  8. 8.North Carolina
  9. 9.Mississippi
  10. 10.Ohio
  11. 11.Virginia
  12. 12.Florida
  13. 13.New York
  14. 14.Oklahoma
  15. 15.Michigan
  16. 16.Arkansas
  17. 17.Kentucky
  18. 18.Utah
  19. 19.Idaho
  20. 20.Wisconsin

Individual Categories

Overall Cost of Doing Business

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.Georgia
  4. 4.Mississippi
  5. 5.North Carolina
  6. 6.Indiana
  7. 7.Tennessee
  8. 7.tAlabama
  9. 9.Louisiana
  10. 10.Utah

Corporate Tax Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.Florida
  3. 3.Georgia
  4. 4.Nevada
  5. 5.South Dakota
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 7.Tennessee
  8. 8.South Carolina
  9. 8.tIndiana
  10. 8.tNorth Dakota

Business Incentives Programs

  1. 1.South Carolina
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.Mississippi
  4. 4.Louisiana
  5. 5.Texas
  6. 6.Indiana
  7. 6.tOhio
  8. 8.Arkansas
  9. 8.tNew Jersey
  10. 10.Alabama
  11. 10.tNew York

Access to Capital & Project Funding

  1. 1.New York
  2. 1.tCalifornia
  3. 3.Texas
  4. 4.Georgia
  5. 5.Tennessee
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 6.tMichigan
  8. 6.tIllinois
  9. 9.New Jersey
  10. 10.Massachusetts

Cooperative & Responsive State Government

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.Tennessee
  4. 4.Louisiana
  5. 5.Virginia
  6. 6.Texas
  7. 7.Alabama
  8. 7.tIndiana
  9. 9.Mississippi
  10. 10.Ohio
  11. 10.tOklahoma

Favorable Regulatory Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.Georgia
  4. 4.Louisiana
  5. 5.Mississippi
  6. 6.Alabama
  7. 6.tIndiana
  8. 8.Tennessee
  9. 9.Virginia
  10. 9.tOklahoma

Speed of Permitting

  1. 1.Louisiana
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.South Carolina
  4. 4.Texas
  5. 5.Alabama
  6. 6.Mississippi
  7. 6.tIndiana
  8. 8.Tennessee
  9. 9.Virginia
  10. 10.North Carolina

Shovel-Ready Sites Program

  1. 1.Tennessee
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.South Carolina
  4. 3.tAlabama
  5. 3.tIndiana
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 7.Louisiana
  8. 8.Texas
  9. 9.Kentucky
  10. 10.Mississippi
  11. 11.Ohio
  12. 11.tWisconsin
  13. 13.Iowa

Favorable Utility Rates

  1. 1.
  2. 2.Tennessee
  3. 3.Georgia
  4. 4.South Carolina
  5. 5.Oregon
  6. 6.Louisiana
  7. 7.Alabama
  8. 7.tNorth Carolina
  9. 7.tIdaho
  10. 10.Texas
  11. 10.tKentucky

Competitive Labor Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.South Carolina
  4. 4.North Carolina
  5. 5.Indiana
  6. 6.Tennessee
  7. 6.tMississippi
  8. 8.Virginia
  9. 8.tOhio
  10. 8.tAlabama

Leading Workforce Development Programs

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.Louisiana
  3. 3.Alabama
  4. 4.South Carolina
  5. 5.Tennessee
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 7.Virginia
  8. 8.Texas
  9. 8.tIndiana
  10. 8.tOhio

Most Improved Economic Development Policies

  1. 1.Ohio
  2. 2.Michigan
  3. 3.Alabama
  4. 3.tNorth Carolina
  5. 5.Indiana
  6. 6.Wisconsin
  7. 6.tArkansas
  8. 8.Georgia
  9. 8.tKentucky
  10. 10.Tennessee
  11. 10.tArizona
  12. 10.tMissouri
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