The 2012 report is based on a survey of 650 business leaders. Texas gets the thumbs-up for its business-friendly tax, regulatory environment, and highly regarded workforce quality, according to the survey. The Lone Star state has ranked number one in all eight years of the survey’s history.
Other high ranking states include Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Indiana. Florida moved up to the number two spot in this year’s survey, up from number three last year, due to business tax and regulatory reforms resulting in the creation of over 140,000 private sector jobs.
At the other end of the spectrum, California, New York, and Illinois earn dubious distinction as the worst states for doing business. California – “once the most attractive business environment” – continues to decline due to its substantially underperforming economy, says the report. Just how bad is it? “According to Spectrum Locations Consultants, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state in 2011, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year and five times as many as in 2009.”
On a positive note, Louisiana had the most improved ranking over the past year, moving to the 13th position in 2012 – up from the 27th spot a year earlier. Executives point to the state’s focus on workforce training and its attractive economic development incentives.