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2018 Top States for Doing Business Commentary: Importance of Addressing the Skill Labor Shortage

Elite workforce development programs are helping to offset any skills shortages due to tight labor market conditions.

Q3 2018
Based on our Location Incentives’ collective team experience, it’s no surprise to see that the Southeastern States dominate the top 10 rankings of this survey.

The leading vote-getter of the survey, Georgia has done a superb job of looking at economic development holistically, balancing its cost of doing business environment with the right business incentives toolkit and the most recognized workforce development program. Access to skilled labor has and will continue to be the focus of most employers and having an elite workforce development program to offset any skills shortages due to tight labor market conditions is required to remain relevant as a top site selection destination.

Texas lags Georgia in the survey by a large margin specific to the workforce development category; however, the Lone Star State benefits from an ever-growing skilled labor pool that makes up for its lacking workforce development toolkit. Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina rank closely behind Georgia for their respective workforce development programs.

The key variable of overall cost of doing business is led by Texas; however, case studies are showing that the costs of labor and real estate, for example, have been trending upward for many years and are now showing Texas to be significantly less competitive than as little as five years ago.

It is important for states that have led the country in job growth over the last decade to be aware that a plateau may be coming and that they will need to continue to adjust their economic development tool chests to keep attracting growth versus adopting a complacent and less aggressive policy. There is no finish line in the race for economic development success, so states can never take their foot off the accelerator!

TOP STATES FOR DOING BUSINESS 2018

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.Texas
  3. 3.Alabama
  4. 4.Tennessee
  5. 5.South Carolina
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 7.Louisiana
  8. 8.Mississippi
  9. 9.Indiana
  10. 10.Florida
  11. 11.Ohio
  12. 12.Arizona
  13. 13.tKentucky
  14. 13.tVirginia
  15. 15.Arkansas
  16. 16.Oklahoma
  17. 17.Utah
  18. 18.tMichigan
  19. 18.tNew York
  20. 20.Nevada

Individual Categories

Overall Cost of Doing Business

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.Tennessee
  3. 3.tGeorgia
  4. 3.tAlabama
  5. 5.tSouth Carolina
  6. 5.tMississippi
  7. 5.tIndiana
  8. 8.North Carolina
  9. 9.tLouisiana
  10. 9.tFlorida
  11. Other: KY

Corporate Tax Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.tTennessee
  3. 2.tFlorida
  4. 4.Georgia
  5. 5.tNorth Carolina
  6. 5.tNevada
  7. 5.tSouth Dakota
  8. 8.South Carolina
  9. 9.tVirginia
  10. 9.tUtah
  11. Others: AL, IN, AZ, LA

Business Incentives Programs

  1. 1.South Carolina
  2. 2.tGeorgia
  3. 2.tAlabama
  4. 4.Mississippi
  5. 5.Texas
  6. 6.tTennessee
  7. 6.tLouisiana
  8. 8.Oklahoma
  9. 9.tIndiana
  10. 9.tOhio
  11. 9.tNew York
  12. 9.tNew Jersey
  13. Others: VA, KY

Access to Capital & Project Funding

  1. 1.California
  2. 2.tTexas
  3. 2.tNew York
  4. 4.North Carolina
  5. 5.tGeorgia
  6. 5.tMassachusetts
  7. 7.Florida
  8. 8.tTennessee
  9. 8.tIllinois
  10. 10.Louisiana
  11. Others: CO, NJ, MI, PA, CT, MD

Competitive Labor Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.tGeorgia
  3. 2.tNorth Carolina
  4. 4.Florida
  5. 5.Tennessee
  6. 6.tAlabama
  7. 6.tIndiana
  8. 6.tArizona
  9. 9.tUtah
  10. 9.tOhio
  11. Others: SC, MS

Leading Workforce Development Programs

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.Alabama
  3. 3.Louisiana
  4. 4.tSouth Carolina
  5. 4.tTennessee
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 7.tVirginia
  8. 7.tOhio
  9. 9.Florida
  10. 10.tMississippi
  11. 10.tIowa
  12. 10.tCalifornia

Shovel-Ready Sites Program

  1. 1.Tennessee
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.Alabama
  4. 4.South Carolina
  5. 5.North Carolina
  6. 6.Ohio
  7. 7.Texas
  8. 8.tIndiana
  9. 8.tMississippi
  10. 10.tKentucky
  11. 10.tLouisiana
  12. Others: AR, VA, IA, WI

Cooperative & Responsive State Government

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.North Carolina
  4. 4.Alabama
  5. 5.Tennessee
  6. 6.tMississippi
  7. 6.tLouisiana
  8. 8.Arizona
  9. 9.tIndiana
  10. 9.tVirginia
  11. Others: OH, TX, AR

Favorable General Regulatory Environment

  1. 1.tAlabama
  2. 1.tGeorgia
  3. 3.Texas
  4. 4.South Carolina
  5. 5.Tennessee
  6. 6.Louisiana
  7. 7.Mississippi
  8. 8.Florida
  9. Others: NC, IN, AR, KY, UT, KS, NV

Favorable Utility Rates

  1. 1.Alabama
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.tIndiana
  4. 3.tOhio
  5. 3.tMichigan
  6. 6.tKentucky
  7. 6.tNorth Carolina
  8. 8.Tennessee
  9. 9.tSouth Carolina
  10. 9.tArizona
  11. 9.tVirginia
  12. Others: AK, ID, CO

Most Improved Economic Development Policies

  1. 1.Alabama
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.Texas
  4. 4.tSouth Carolina
  5. 4.tMississippi
  6. 6.Tennessee
  7. 7.tLouisiana
  8. 7.tIndiana
  9. 9.Arizona
  10. 10.Kentucky
  11. Others: FL, OH, AR

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