CNBC's Top States For Business 2009:  California Slumps And Slips

Thursday, 23 Jul 2009 | 2:25 PM ET

If there’s one state that personifies the nation's financial problems, it’s probably California, which is something of a nation state.

Though California did not suffer a precipitous decline in the 2009 rankings of our Top States For Business, it is now solidly in the bottom half. The Golden State ranked 31 vs. 25 a year ago.

The Golden State's budget deficit is projected at a whopping $53.7 billion in 2010--about $1500 per man, woman and child), the unemployment rate is 11.6 percent (more than two points above the national average) in June and the foreclosure rate (one per 132 households In June, according to RealtyTrac), is second only toNevada.

Despite all that, California’s maintained a fairly high ranking in the Economycategory (12/7). At the same time, its entrepreneurial class is legendary, especially in the high-tech sector. Thus, the superlative rankings in Access To Capital(1/1), Technology & Innovation (1/1).

On the downside, the state stumbled in the Quality of Liferankings (19/4).

California does present some negatives for business. Its workers compensation costs are the highest in the nation and its economy is highly regulated (for better and for worse).

Thus, it ranks low in Business Friendliness(49/48), Cost of Doing Business (49/48) and Cost of Living (49/49).