11/16/2016

North Carolina has held on to its No. 2 ranking on Forbes’ list of Best States for Business.

“Forbes 11th annual Best States for Business list measures which states have the best business climates and are poised to succeed going forward,” according to the Forbes article announcing the 2016 ranking.

arrowsNorth Carolina, which ranked No. 2 in 2015, is the only state that has placed in the top five every year of the Best States study.

Foreign direct investment has fueled much of the state’s growth in high-tech jobs, Forbes said. In North Carolina, about 230,500 workers are employed as a result of foreign direct investment. FDI in the state has totaled $13.6 billion over the past decade.

The Best States study assesses 40 metrics from 17 sources across six categories: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. The study, which relies on data from Moody Analytics and other research sources, places the most weight on business costs, which include labor, energy and taxes.

North Carolina has the second smallest percentage of unionized workers in the U.S., which helps account for labor costs that are 11 percent below the national average — and the fourth lowest in the U.S., according to Forbes. The state’s corporate income tax will drop from 4 percent to 3 percent in January 2017, the lowest rate among all 44 states that levy the tax.

The Top 10 on Forbes‘ latest Best States for Business ranking are:

#1 Utah
#2 North Carolina
#3 Nebraska
#4 Texas
#5 Colorado
#6 Virginia
#7 Georgia
#8 North Dakota
#9 Washington
#10 South Dakota