Forbes 'Best States For Business' Rankings: NC, Utah Top List

NEW YORK, NY — North Carolina has the best business climate in the country, according to a new report from Forbes. The American business magazine published its 13th annual “Best States For Business” rankings Wednesday.

The rankings were calculated based on more than 40 metrics, Forbes said, that spanned six categories: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

The rankings suggest business people ought to consider moving to “The Tar Heel State,” which has a high net migration rate – many more people have flooded into the state than have exited, the authors said. The state also has one of the smallest number of unionized workers in terms of percent of total employment.

“The resulting benefit is labor costs that are 9 percent below the national average — sixth lowest in the country,” the magazine wrote.

Here are the top 10 states for business:

    Two years ago, North Carolina supplanted Utah as the best state for business. Utah had claimed the top spot six times in seven years from 2010-16, but dipped last year due to increasing business costs and a weakening economic outlook, Forbes said. But the state remains one of the best due to its business-friendly climate, low energy costs and increasing employment.

    On the other hand, Alaska, West Virginia, Maine, Vermont and Hawaii were, respectively, the worst states for business. Alaska’s economy is dependent on oil and gas — which account for more than 80 percent of the state’s revenue — and the drop in oil prices has hurt the state’s economy, Forbes said.

    “Alaska’s economy shrunk faster than any other state over the past five years (down 2.6 percent per year), and net migration out of the state also ranks worst in the nation,” according to the report.

    The state’s employment outlook also ranked dead last over the next half-decade, with Alaska not expected to net any jobs.

    Click here to read the full methodology.

    Photo credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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