Va. slips to number 2 state for business in Forbes Magazine ranking
Utah has beat out Virginia on Forbes Magazine's list of the best states for business, knocking the commonwealth out of the top ranking it has held for the past four years.
The magazine said Virginia, which it ranked number 2 for business in the country, "still boasts a very favorable business climate, with an educated labor supply and solid economic growth."
But it said labor and energy costs have "crept up," which allowed Utah to win the top ranking.
It is the first time Virginia hasn't topped the rankings since the magazine started awarding them five years ago.
The magazine notes that Utah's economy has expanded an average of 3.5 percent a year for the past five years, faster than anywhere else but North Dakota. Household incomes have been rising and the state cut its corporate income tax rate. The rankings, the magazine says, come after evaluations of 33 data points in six categories: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
Tucker Martin, a spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell, noted that this is the third time in a year that Virginia has been ranked one of the nation's two best states for business. " CNBC ranked Virginia the nation's second-best state for business, after Texas, in July. Pollina Corporate Real Estate said Virginia was the country's most pro-business state in August.
"That is a testament to the Commonwealth's pro-job creation climate," Martin said. "However, we understand that other states and countries are increasingly competitive and aggressive in the global marketplace. That's why the governor recently sought, and gained, a host of new tools to help Virginia better compete going forward. The governor won't be satisfied until Virginia is known as the undisputed best place in the nation, and the world, for private-sector job creation and economic investment and growth."
| October 14, 2010; 5:16 PM ET
Categories: Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman
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