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CNBC Presents Coverage with Special Correspondent Scott Cohn Revealing the 2019 America's Top States for Business across CNBC Platforms on Wednesday, July 10th
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., June 10, 2019 – With an escalating trade war, historic labor shortages, aging infrastructure and a record economic expansion showing signs of stress, what makes some states more competitive than others in the battle for business and jobs? The calculus has never been more complicated than it is now, and America's Top States for Business is back to make sense of it all.
Starting Tuesday, July 9th, CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, will broadcast coverage of its thirteenth 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 on Wednesday, July 10th, during 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 beginning on Tuesday and will announce the top five states on this year's list on "Squawk Box" (6AM-9AM ET) Wednesday.
CNBC Digital will reveal, in conjunction with on-air, the complete list of America's Top States for Business rankings on Wednesday, July 10th. 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 looking at the unique issues facing the states this year, from labor shortages and crumbling infrastructure to the changing dynamics around the trade war.
Follow us on Twitter @CNBC and take part in the social conversation using hashtag #TopStates.
CNBC's exclusive study scores all 50 states on 64 metrics across ten categories of competitiveness. The methodology grades the states based on the qualities they deem most important in attracting business. To do that, CNBC assigns a weight to each of the ten categories by analyzing every state's economic development marketing materials. The more frequently a selling point appears, the more weight it carries in the study.
Here are the 2019 categories and weightings:
Workforce (450 points)
We rate states based on the educational attainment of their workforce, the number of available employees, and net migration of 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.
Economy (375 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, and the health of the residential real estate market. We measure each state's fiscal health by looking at its credit ratings and outlook, its overall budget picture, and pension and retiree health care obligations. Because of their own economic impact as well as the ripple effect, we consider the number of major corporations headquartered in each state.
Infrastructure (350 points)
Infrastructure is about access to people and markets. 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 measure population within a day's drive of each state. We also evaluate each state's utility infrastructure, including the condition of drinking water and wastewater systems.
Cost of Doing Business (350 points)
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.
Quality of Life (325 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, the quality of health care, the level of health insurance coverage and the overall health of the population. We measure inclusiveness by looking at statewide anti-discrimination protections, as well as the ability of local jurisdictions to set their own standards. We evaluate local attractions, parks and recreation, as well as environmental quality.
Education (175 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 trends in state support 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.
Technology & Innovation (175 points)
Truly competitive states prize innovation, nurture new ideas, and have the infrastructure to support them. We measure the states based on results, including the number of patents issued, as well as health, science and agriculture research grants.
Business Friendliness (175 points)
We evaluate the legal and regulatory climates of each state, as well as overall economic freedom for businesses and individuals.
Access to Capital (75 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.
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