Inflation Economy: These are the Best and Worst States for Businesses in 2022

Business people shaking hands during lunch.
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The new top state for business in 2022 is North Carolina, according to a new CNBC study, thanks to putting partisanship aside to build the nation’s strongest economy.

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The recent CNBC study ranks the top states for business by analyzing 10 categories of competitiveness — including workforce, infrastructure, cost of doing business, economy, life, health and inclusion, technology and innovation, business friendliness, education, access to capital and cost of living.

It also studies 88 metrics, including new ones for 2022, such as “child-care resources for employees balancing work and family, as well as support for emerging industries such as cryptocurrency and cannabis,” per CNBC.

North Carolina also has a strong credit rating, as well as a 6.7% rate of economic growth (in 2021) and a 3.6% rate job growth (during the same year). These figures place North Carolina among the strongest states in the nation, according to CNBC data. North Carolina also took the second spot, behind California, for access to capital, and attracted $3.5 billion in venture capital investments last year — the sixth highest rank in that metric across the nation.

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Following North Carolina, the overall top states for business include Washington, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Utah, Minnesota and Georgia.

At the bottom of the list are Mississippi, Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, Hawaii, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Maine, New Jersey and Arkansas.

In terms of top states for workforce rankings — CNBC explains that it ranked which states that are most successful in attracting talent at all levels, state worker training programs, right to work laws and worker productivity — Colorado took the No. 1 position, while Vermont placed last.

As for the cost of doing business, CNBC measured the strength of each state’s business tax climate, wage and utility costs, as well as the cost of office and industrial space and incentives and tax breaks. Concerning these categories, Missouri came in first, while Hawaii rested at the bottom of the list.

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Regarding life, health and inclusion rankings (which include livability factors, inclusiveness in state laws, including protections against discrimination of all kinds, as well as voting rights and healthcare quality), Vermont led the U.S., while Arizona trailed all other states.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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