North Carolina Remains No. 2 Best State for Business, According to CEOs.


[North Carolina Department of Commerce Editorial Staff]

Chief Executive magazine ranks North Carolina No. 2 Best State for Business for third year.

North Carolina continues to have a top-ranked, business-friendly climate. For the third consecutive year, more than 500 CEOs ranked North Carolina the No. 2 Best State for Business, according to the May issue of Chief Executive magazine.

“These CEOs recognize that North Carolina has what their business needs,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “Our transition from industries like furniture, textiles and tobacco to knowledge-based jobs in banking, high-tech and pharmaceuticals is possible because our workers are well-educated and well-trained. There is no doubt that if we continue to make education a priority, we will continue to lead the South—and the country—out of this recession.”  

According to Chief Executive Editor-in-Chief J.P. Donlon, the magazine “considered a wide range of criteria, from taxation and regulation to workforce quality and living environment, in our annual ranking of the best states for business. The charts and articles in this special report show how each state fares on the factors most essential for a business-friendly environment—as well as what states are doing to attract and retain companies in the increasingly competitive battle to win site selection.”

The criteria the study used includes:

  • Workforce quality
  • Quality of living
  • Taxation and regulation
  • Percent of growth from 2005–2009 in terms of national average
  • Unemployment rate as of November 2010
  • Comparison of the national unemployment rate
  • Domestic net migration rate per 1,000 from 2000–2006
  • Debt per resident
  • State and local government employees per 10,000 residents
  • State-local tax burden rate
  • State-local tax burden compared to the national average of 9.8 percent

One topic of particular interest to the CEOs who participated was taxation. As one CEO told Chief Executive magazine, “Do not overtax business. Make sure your tax scheme does not drive business to another state. Have a regulatory environment and regulators that encourage good business—not one that punishes businesses for minor infractions. Good employment laws help too. Let companies decide what benefits and terms will attract and keep the quality of employee they need. Rules that make it hard, if not impossible, to separate from a non-productive employee make companies fearful to hire or locate in a state.”

“North Carolina workers are 10 percent more productive than the average U.S. worker,” said Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco. “Combine that with leadership that makes strategic investments in infrastructure and technology and it’s no surprise that we land at the top of the list time and time again.”

North Carolina ranked high in several categories, including Taxation and Regulations with a focus on the state corporate income tax rate and the highest personal income tax rate. Workforce Quality was another category in which North Carolina excelled. The study cited the rate of bachelor’s degrees completed in six years, degrees completed per 100 students, the number of patents per 100K residents and the percentage of workers represented by unions. North Carolina also scored high in the Quality of Life category for which Chief Executive took into account the number of hospitals per 10K, elementary/secondary schools per 1,000 people and the number of violent crimes per 100K.

Read the Chief Executive article to learn more about North Carolina’s No. 2 Best Business Climate.

Related news:
Site Selection Magazine Ranks North Carolina No. 4 Most Economic Competitive State
North Carolina Cities Rank at the Top of fDi’s “American Cities of the Future”

Related links:
North Carolina's Business Climate