CNBC recently released its annual ranking of “America’s Top States for Business in 2022,” one that found the Garden State once again finishing near the bottom of the list with a dismal 42 out of 50, earning the state a disappointing grade “F” for “Business Friendliness.”
The annual ranking released July 193 scores all 50 states based on 88 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness. The categories include: Workforce, Infrastructure, Cost of Doing Business, Economy, Life, Health & Inclusion, Technology & Innovation, Business Friendliness, Education, Access to Capital and Cost of Living.
Each category is judged by how many times a state uses one of the designated categories as a marketing tool in promoting their state (through marketing materials), for economic development and expansion within their respective state.
“F” grade for “Business Friendless”
The study ranks each state based on their ability to sell themselves within each given category, which has been carefully developed by a diverse group of business professionals along with policy experts from both state and federal governments.
The survey takes into account a state’s economic profile, comprised from sources like U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federation of Tax Administrators, American Petroleum Institute, along with Moody’s Investor Service and S&P Global Market Intelligence.
For example, the Garden State currently has a population of 9,267,130 New Jerseyans, with an annual GDP growth rate of -2.2%, along with a corporate tax rate of 11.5% and an unemployment rate of 3.9%.
Ranked 42 out of 50 states
Moreover, according to the survey, the conclusions reached within the ranking are based on data provided from a number of reliable sources that measures a states’ performance. Each state can earn a maximum of 2,500 points, those states’ that earn the highest overall number of points, within those 10 categories are designated “America’s Top States for Business.”
New Jersey’s overall score is 1,179, earning the Garden State a ranking of 42 in overall performance, along with receiving an additional “F” grade within two other important categories, the “economy” and “cost of living.”
The state did, however, manage to earn an “A+” grade for “education” and three “C+’s” for “workforce, technology & innovation” along with “access to capital.
This year, North Carolina won the top prize for the first time with 1,580 points to capture this year’s title, thanks in part to a surging economic base. The Tar Heel State has always been a strong contender, rarely finishing below 10th place since the rankings began back in 2007. Last year the state finished second.
However, the distinction this year seemed to be the ability for both Democrats and Republicans to focus on boosting and promoting business within the state.
Bipartisan cooperation key to success
Democrat Governor Roy Cooper along with Republican State Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore worked together in finalizing a deal with VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer, to begin building a $2 billion dollar factory in North Carolina. The three worked together to craft a $1.2 billion incentive package sealing the deal.
“This is what happens when we work together. This is what happens when people with different viewpoints, different thought processes, come together,” Moore said at the event announcing that deal in April 2021.
“We had a tough election in 2020. They tried to get rid of me; I tried to get rid of them,” said Cooper. “We ended up the same way we were. And I think we looked at each other and said, ‘This is what the people of North Carolina have voted for.’ We’ve got to work together to get positive outcomes for our state.”
Aside from North Carolina taking the top spot, the other top 4 finalists are: Washington, Virginia, Colorado, and Texas. On the flip side, the 5 states that ranked at the bottom are Hawaii, New Mexico, Louisiana, Alaska and Mississippi.