Texas, California Rank Best and Worst for Business

Texas, California Rank Best and Worst for Business
  • Opening Intro -

    Chief Executive Officers know full well just how challenging it can be to do business.

    Some states are decidedly business-friendly including Florida, which has promised to provide the most welcoming environment for businesses.


Chief Executive survey measures the business climate across America.

Some states, however, make it difficult for businesses to succeed, burdening them with high taxes, onerous regulations or simply making it difficult for workers to enjoy a decent quality of living.

Business Environment

For the eight consecutive year, Chief Executive survey CEOs across America to get their input about the states where they do business. Each year Texas has topped that year while California has the dubious distinction for finishing in last place for the eighth straight year.

This year’s survey resulted in 650 responses from business leaders, up from 550 in 2011. Texas scored high for its business-friendly tax and regulatory environment, finishing second to Utah in workplace quality. Florida finished second this year, swapping places with North Carolina. Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, has promised to overtake Texas, with the Sunshine State adding 140,000 jobs and seeing its unemployment rate fall by 2.1 percent for one of the most significant decreases among all 50 states.

Fourth through tenth place was held by Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Utah and Arizona. Oregon had the largest drop falling from #24 to #33. Louisiana had the biggest jump, moving from #27 to #13 on the list.

The bottom 10 states had Hawaii in the 41st position followed by Oregon, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey. The bottom five states were Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York and California.

Right-to-Work States

Most of the top-performing states are right-to-work states, locations that make it easier for business leaders to adjust their workforces. Notably, workers seemed to move from lower performing states to higher performing states in search of employment. Indeed, New York and California experienced a net migration out of 1.6 million and 1.5 million respectively from 2001 to 2009. Texas and Florida had the largest net migration in. Texas also accounted for approximately 47 percent of all new jobs from June 2009 to July 2011. June 2009 marked the official end of the last recession.

California remains locked in last place with Chief Executive noting that the Golden State once had the most attractive business environment. The magazine also called California the “most ruinously contentious place” to do business, something that 254 California companies concluded in 2011 when these companies moved some or all of their jobs elsewhere.

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Categories: Money News

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".