CNBC Presents Coverage with Special Correspondent Scott Cohn Revealing the 2017 America's Top States for Business Throughout CNBC's Business Day Programming and Online on Tuesday, July 11th
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., June 13, 2017—The skills gap across the U.S. labor market is big and getting bigger. States are fighting each other like never before to attract businesses and jobs – a battle that CNBC has been chronicling year after year in its annual America's Top States for Business ranking.
Starting Monday, July 10th through Wednesday, July 12th, CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, will broadcast the results of its eleventh annual study of America's Top States for Business. The network will build a special event around this CNBC exclusive study with the complete rankings being revealed, along with the winning state and its governor, on Tuesday, July 11th, throughout the network's Business Day programming. The complete ranking for all 50 states will be available on CNBC.com and include an in-depth look at each of their respective rankings.
CNBC Special Correspondent Scott Cohn will broadcast live from the top-ranked state starting Monday, and will count down CNBC's 2017 list of America's Top States for Business Tuesday, beginning on "Squawk Box" (6AM-9AM ET) with the top state being revealed on "Closing Bell" (3PM-5PM ET).
CNBC Digital will reveal, in conjunction with on-air, the complete list of America's Top States for Business rankings on Tuesday, July 11th. In addition, topstates.cnbc.com will feature a wealth of coverage about each state including economic snapshots (employment, budget, tax and housing data) and exclusive stories and slideshows delving into the various top-ranking categories including Workforce, Technology & Innovation and Cost of Doing Business.
Follow us on Twitter @CNBC and take part in the social conversation using hashtag #TopStates.
To determine the rankings for America's Top States for Business, each state was scored on 66 different measures of competitiveness. We developed our methodology with input from a broad and diverse array of business and policy experts, official government sources, the CNBC Global CFO Council and the states themselves. A full list of sources that were used for this year's data can be found here. States received points based on their rankings in each metric, which were then separated into ten broad categories. The categories are weighted based on how frequently they are used as selling points in state economic development marketing materials. That way, we grade the states on the criteria they use to sell themselves.
So what makes a state great for business? These are the ten broad categories and the maximum possible points for each in 2017:
Workforce (425 points)
Most states point with great pride to the quality and availability of their workers, as well as government-sponsored programs to train them. We rate states based on the education level of their workforce, the numbers of available employees, and the states' demonstrated abilities to retain college-educated workers. We consider each state's concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workers, increasingly in demand by business. We measure workforce productivity based on each state's economic output per job. We look at the relative success of each state's worker training programs in placing their participants in jobs. We also consider union membership and the states' right-to-work laws. While organized labor contends that a union workforce is a quality workforce, that argument, more often than not, does not resonate with business.
Infrastructure (400 points)
Access to transportation in all its modes is a key to getting your products to market and your people on the move. We measure the vitality of each state's transportation system by the value of goods shipped by air, waterways, roads and rail. We look at the availability of air travel in each state, the quality of the roads and bridges, and the time it takes to commute to work. We also consider the condition of each state's drinking water and wastewater systems.
Cost of Doing Business (350 points)
Cost is a major consideration when a company chooses where to do business. We look at the competitiveness of each state's tax climate, as well as state-sponsored incentives that can lower the cost of doing business. Utility costs can add up to a huge expense for business, and they vary widely by state. We also consider the cost of wages, as well as rental costs for office and industrial space.
Economy (300 points)
A solid economy is good for business. So is a diverse economy, with access to the biggest players in a variety of industries. We look at economic growth, job creation, consumer spending, and the health of the residential real estate market. We measure each state's fiscal health by looking at its credit ratings and outlook, as well as its overall budget picture. Because of their own economic impact as well as the ripple effect, we consider the number of major corporations headquartered in each state.
Quality of Life (300 points)
One way to attract qualified workers is to offer them a great place to live. We score the states on livability including several factors, such as the crime rate, inclusiveness including anti-discrimination protections, the quality of health care, the level of health insurance coverage and the overall health of the population. We evaluate local attractions, parks and recreation, as well as environmental quality.
Technology & Innovation (225 points)
Succeeding in the new economy—or any economy—takes innovation. Truly competitive states prize innovation, nurture new ideas, and have the infrastructure to support them. We evaluate the states on their support for innovation, and the number of patents issued to their residents. We also consider federal health, science and agricultural research grants to the states.
Education (200 points)
Education and business go hand in hand. Not only do companies want to draw from an educated pool of workers, they also want to offer their employees a great place to raise a family. Higher education institutions offer companies a source to recruit new talent, as well as a partner in research and development. We consider the number of higher education institutions in each state as well as long-term funding trends for higher education. We look at several measures of K-12 education including test scores, class size and spending, and we look at technology infrastructure in the schools. We also look at life-long learning opportunities in each state.
Business Friendliness (150 points)
Regulation and litigation are the bane of business. Sure, some of each is inevitable. But we grade the states on the freedom their legal and regulatory frameworks provide for business.
Access to Capital (100 points)
Companies go where the money is, and capital flows to some states more than others. We look at venture capital investments by state, as well as traditional bank financing for small and mid-sized businesses.
Cost of Living (50 points)
The cost of living helps drive the cost of doing business. From housing to food and energy, wages go further when the cost of living is low. We measure the states based on an index of costs for basic items.
With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and CNBC World, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to more than 385 million homes worldwide, including more than 94 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 15 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.
CNBC also has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms including: CNBC.com; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides live access to CNBC programming, exclusive video content and global market data and analysis; a suite of CNBC mobile products including the CNBC Apps for iOS, Android and Windows devices; and additional products such as the CNBC App for the Apple Watch and Apple TV.
Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at http://www.nbcumv.com/programming/cnbc.
For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit http://www.NBCUniversal.com.