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» more from America's Top States For Business 2012

8. Virginia

Net Job Creation: 43,700

Virginia managed job growth in all but two of the 10 BLS categories — information and construction — despite one of the lowest GDP growth rates. The state benefits from its proximity to the nation’s capital. For instance, there are 1,600 companies listed under the defense category. Northrup Grumman and General Dynamics are headquartered in Virginia, as are many foreign companies, such as Airbus, Mitsubishi, Saab and Volkswagen. Virginia is also home to a large communications and technology sector, including RCN and VeriSign.

Education & Health Services: 12,100
Trade, Transportation, Utilities: 10,200
Financial Activities: 7,900

Pictured: Furniture makers in a Virginia factory.

Photo: Cavan Images | Getty Images