5. North Carolina

Jobs are hoofing it back to the Tar Heel State, as companies take advantage of a large pool of mostly non-union workers. To sustain the growth, the state must address education.

Category
Score
2014 Rank
2013 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 251 23 (Tie) 32
Workforce 219 4 3
Quality of Life 126 34 30
Infrastructure & Transportation 203 21 (Tie) 31
Economy 295 4 13
Education 67 33 15
Technology & Innovation 222 12 (Tie) 10
Business Friendliness 132 19 18
Cost of Living 37 14 20
Access to Capital 17 17 (Tie) 15
Overall 1569 5 12

Economic Profile

Governor: Pat McCrory

Population: 9,848,060

GDP growth: 2.3 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2014): 6.2 percent

Top corporate tax rate: 6.9 percent

Top individual income tax rate: 5.8 percent

Gasoline tax: 56 cents/gallon

Bond rating/outlook: Aaa/stable

Major private employer: Wal-Mart

Economic profile sources: Federation of Tax Administrators, American Petroleum Institute, Moody's Investor Service, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina FY 2013 CAFR

  • Scott Cohn develops in-depth features, special reports and documentaries for CNBC and CNBC.com.

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