North Carolina ranks as the No. 3 state for business for the second straight year in Chief Executive magazine’s 2017 Best & Worst States for Business survey.

The state has consistently ranked among the leaders since the first annual survey 13 years ago—in part because CEOs view North Carolina as a state with one of the top living environments as well as a high-quality workforce, according to the magazine. Chief Executive surveys more than 500 CEOs across the country for the report, and the rankings reflect business leaders’ perceptions of best and worst states based on a range of key measures.

“Business leaders are challenged with everything from the growing talent shortage and skills gap to digital transformation to discerning how the presidential election will impact their business, ” said Marshall Cooper, CEO of Chief Executive magazine. This year’s rankings, Cooper said, “show that CEOs support states that understand and offer solutions to those challenges.”

In addition to the overall state rankings, Chief Executive’s 2017 Best & Worst States for Business survey also presents individual category rankings, including workforce, taxes/regulation, living environment, and best communication of business incentives. Additionally, states were ranked by major industry, including health care, technology, financial services and retail, among others.

North Carolina’s rankings in key categories include:
• Workforce quality: No. 6
• Living Environment: No. 7
• Taxes and Regulation: No. 16

In state rankings by industry, North Carolina fared well in every category tracked. It was ranked No. 3 in technology/telecommunications, retail, energy/utilities, and pharmaceuticals/medical products; No. 4 in financial services and manufacturing; and No. 8 in health care.

“We believe the annual best and worst states survey is a valuable tool for the business community in North Carolina, as well as for those in charge of promoting economic development,” Cooper said. “The rankings, which capture CEO perception of a state’s business climate, are a good gauge of a state’s ability to attract and retain business investment.”

Full survey results and additional information can be found on the magazine’s website  and in the May/June issue.