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

Top States For Business

From the Governors

Latest Special Reports

  • CNBC's ninth annual study measures all 50 states on more than 60 different metrics.

  • Chicago, Illinois

    Dive into the big mutual fund battles: ETFs stealing assets, sky high fees, persistent struggles to beat the index.

  • Advisor-centric content with guest columns covering practice management, investment strategies and marketing/social media.