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eagle

Best States to do Business

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Article

"In Forbes.com's second annual Top States for Business, Virginia may be the top-ranked state for the second straight year, but Washington is the big story. The biggest mover (tied with Tennessee), rising from 12th to fifth place, Washington is also the only state to finish in the top five in three main categories (labor, regulatory environment and growth). And Washington's numbers are up across the board when you look both backward and at projections into the future...

...We're blessed by birth. We have an innovative spirit in the state," says Washington's Gov. Christine Gregoire, who adds: "We've made improvements to get out of the way and let innovation and creativity take over."

...Virginia's top attributes include an incentive environment that is the fourth-best in the country, according to Pollina Corporate Real Estate.

...Moving up to the second spot this year was Utah, from fourth place in 2006. Utah benefited from low business costs (9% below the national average) and a strong current economic environment. The state's five-year job growth rate jumped to 1.8%, from 1.3% last year, while incomes growth improved to 3.2%, from 2.2%.

...Our second runner-up was North Carolina, whose capital, Raleigh, is our best metro area for business and careers. North Carolina has the second-lowest labor costs in the country (18% below the national average), and incomes are projected to increase 3.8% annually over the next five years, the second-fastest rate in the country.

...First, we look at projections of job, income and gross state product growth. We also examine venture capital money going into an area as well as new businesses that have cropped up in the past three years. Another addition is the role that government plays on the business climate in terms of environmental and labor laws, as well as taxes and incentives.

...One of Washington's big strengths is reduced red tape. The Office of Regulatory Assistance helps individuals and businesses sort through the many layers of government regulation all in one place. If a number of state agencies need to be contacted for a new business to obtain permits, it can be handled from one source...That's part of why Washington has had more businesses open per capita the past three years than any other state in the U.S."

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I know I enjoyed the lack of a personal income tax when I lived there. Didn't hurt recruiting efforts for top drawer employees either...

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It sounds like they put too much emphasis on expected growth, which means they probably look at how a state's been doing recently and just project those numbers forward. If a state had a particularly bad month for the last numbers they took before they did the study, that would probably inflate short term negative trends.

Also, I have to question a study that ranks Texas higher than Washington on Quality of Life. They probably measured things like how many strip malls, single family homes and acres per capita and called it good.

Given what I've seen, I'm just not convinced. At the very least I'm taking this one with a grain of salt.

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So low labor costs are good, but so are increasing wages? I guess that means you have a healthy middle class with disposable income, but if wages are rising that cheap labor won't be so cheap for long.

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Other then the top 500 richest people in the world article annually, Forbes' lists are pretty much bubkiss.

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I want to see Forbes Magazine do an article on the best state in which to be a Worker!

(Of couse, being Forbes, they would probably use the retrograde term "employee.") :wacko:

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