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Best State For Business In 2012: Texas Worst: California

Chief Executive Magazine has released their best and worst list for business in 2012 list in the latest issue of their magazine. The great news for “everywhere else” is that Texas topped the list.

Texas topped the list for the second year in a row. Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, and Virginia followed behind Texas. One of the contributing factors to the success of Texas and Florida is that both states have the highest migration of people to their states from 2001 to 2009.  On the bottom of the list New York (49) and California (50), have lost 1.6 million and 1.5 million respectively during the same time.

650 business leaders responded to the survey, which was 100 more than the previous year. The extra 100 survey respondents didn’t help California that’s ranked last on the list for 8 years. Here are some of there respondent comments about California, that Chief Executive posted to their website:

  • California is the worst! They are doing everything possible to drive a business out of their state. If it were not for the climate, they would have lost half their population.
  • California regulations, taxes and costs will leave only tech, life sciences and entertainment as viable. If you aren’t an elitist, no room here for the middle or working classes.
  • California treats business owners like criminals. California has different overtime policies for its own employees vs. private sector.
  • California’s labor regulation is a job killer. We will be moving our business out of the state, which will lose hundreds of jobs simply due to the poor regulatory environment.
  • California should secede from the union—it is like doing business in a foreign country, it has its own exchange rate, and its regulation is crazy.

In some ways this survey contrasts what’s going on in the startup world. We all know that the largest area for startups is Silicon Valley however Texas has thriving startup communities in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Most of the tech startups in the Valley area aren’t producing hundreds of thousands of jobs which is a driving force behind this survey.

Take Texas for instance. While many credit June 2009 for the end of the actual recession, the country as a whole. From June 2009 to July 2011 Texas added 328,000 jobs. During the same period there were 697,000 new jobs nationally. This means that the state of Texas accounted for 47% of the national net job creation.

Indiana received a lot of praise by the magazine for breaking into the top 5. They suggest that Indiana becoming the 23rd right to work state helped fuel that rating and could help them climb even higher in the future. One respondent said about Indiana “Indiana is like a breath of fresh air,” they told Chief Executive. “I have operated on both coasts, the Southeast and Chicago, and Indiana is where I will keep my manufacturing operations.”

Indiana’s startup community is heating up. They recently launched their StartupAmerica partnership to a packed house.

Linkage:

Read the whole report at Chief Executive’s website here

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