When it comes to business, don’t mess with Texas. For the seventh year in a row, the Lone Star State has topped Chief Executive’s annual poll of the best and worst states for business. California ranked at the bottom of the list as it has for each of the seven years this poll has been conducted.
Based in Connecticut, Chief Executive is a bi-monthly magazine for CEOs, presidents, and other top management executives. More than 500 CEOS consider a wide range of criteria, including taxation (including state income tax and corporate tax rates, perceived attitude of government to business, tax incentives for locating in this state), workforce quality (employee work ethic, competitiveness of wage rates, general education of workforce), and living environment (crime rate, quality of public education, real estate costs).
Texas, according to Chief Executive, owes its high ranking for its strong marks in factors that promote business creation, along with its tax rate, the second-lowest in the nation, and its 250,000 new jobs last year. One caution is that the state has attracted more job seekers (4.3 million) over the last decade, which threatens to overwhelm job creation. Its reported $27 million budget shortfall could force cuts in education and infrastructure, areas, the magazine states, Texas has room for improvement.
Between Texas and California, there has been some jockeying within the ranks, the magazine’s website reports. Wisconsin jumped 17 points in the rankings to 24 since 2010. Louisiana rose 13 to place at 27. Oklahoma, which climbed eight points to 11, joins the latter in posting the biggest gains over the last five years. Indiana too, entered the top 10 after increasing 10 spots to 6th. Other states that can boast impressive five years gains include Missouri (an increase of 18 to 23rd on the list), Wyoming (plus 16 to rank 14th), and Kentucky (rising 16 to rank at 17).
Things are not looking as rosy for several states that have plummeted in the rankings, including Alaska (-10 to 31), and West Virginia (-8 to 42), Pennsylvania (-7 to 39), Idaho (-6 to 19), and Alabama (-6 to 26). New Jersey and New York’s rankings remained unchanged since 2010; too bad as they are ranked 47 and 49, respectively.
Illinois has dropped 40 places in five years (its bond ranking is 49th). Other staggering five-year losses include Ohio (-19 to 41st), Washington (-18 to 34th), Maryland (-16 to 37th), and Pennsylvania (-12 to 39th).