Texas was given the highest ranking for availability of skilled labor and most diverse labor pool, earning the state the title of best overall labor climate. Texas was also cited as the “most-mentioned” state by respondents to the survey. This continues a decade-long trend of awards and recognitions for Texas’ top-notch business climate In addition to the Area Development Magazine ranking, earlier this year the state was named best business climate by Business Facilities Magazine and most competitive state by Site Selection Magazine. Chief Executive Magazine has also ranked Texas as the best state for business for nine years in a row through their annual survey of CEOs.
As the economy improves and states continue to vie for new investment and jobs, they also seek the attention of site consultants who help companies make their new facility and expansion decisions. With that in mind, Area Development’s fourth annual Top States for Doing Business survey of site consultants ranks the states based on their number of mentions in 17 categories (scores were weighted based on position in each category and then overall). States were ranked on factors in the following categories: Business Environment (costs, taxes and regulations, incentives, etc.), Labor Climate (diversity, costs, development programs, etc.); and Infrastructure and Global Access (rail/highway access, shovel-ready sites, utility rates, logistics access). Following is more detailed information on the attributes of the top-10 states that provides insight into the rankings. Additionally, several site consultants who participated in the survey offer their comments.