CNBC Ranks North Carolina No. 2 on “America’s Top States for Business”

July 13, 2021

North Carolina has jumped one spot to No. 2 on CNBC’s “America’s Top States for Business,” its best performance in the annual ranking since it was introduced in 2007.

The CNBC study, released today, puts all 50 states to the test, grading them on more than 85 different metrics in 10 key categories of competitiveness.

North Carolina ranked particularly well in the categories of economy (No. 4) with solid growth, and workforce (No. 6) with a steady influx of educated workers, according to CNBC’s coverage. North Carolina also finished among the Top 10 states in business friendliness (No. 9), access to capital (8), and technology and innovation (10).

The state’s strong economy and workforce recently helped convince Apple to locate its first East Coast corporate campus in the state’s Research Triangle area, according to CNBC.

“Despite the pandemic, companies across a diverse array of industries announced major location and expansion projects in North Carolina over the past year,” said Christopher Chung, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“That spans Apple’s campus that will create over 3,200 new jobs; Google and its new 1,000-job cloud computing hub; FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and its $2 billion large cell culture production site; Pratt & Whitney’s cutting-edge turbine airfoil manufacturing plant; health insurer Centene Corp.’s $1 billion East Coast regional headquarters and tech hub expected to create up to 6,000 new jobs; and Roseburg Forest Products’ high-tech sawmill operation in Halifax County.”

While Virginia took the top spot in this year’s CNBC ranking, with 1,587 points overall out of a possible 2,500 across all categories, North Carolina was a close second with 1,546 points overall.

North Carolina has risen substantially on the CNBC ranking in recent years. It was No. 3 on the annual survey in 2019, the last time it was conducted. The Tar Heel State was No. 9 on the annual survey in 2018 and No. 5 the prior two years.

The CNBC ranking is the latest top-tier business ranking for North Carolina. For three years in a row, North Carolina has been No. 1 on Forbes magazine’s Best States for Business list, last released in 2019. North Carolina is the only state  to appear in the top five every year of Forbes’ best states study, which began in 2006.

Click here for more coverage of CNBC’s 2021 ranking of “America’s Top States for Business.”