CEO Magazine, which issued its annual “Best/Worst States for Business” this week, ranked Washington state below average at 34th. The more telling statistic from this survey of over 500 CEOs is that our state has fallen 18 spots over the last five years. In 2006 Washington ranked an above average 16th.
The survey takes into account “Taxes and Regulation,” “Workforce Quality,” and “Living Environment.”
The best states: Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia.
The worst states: California (50th), New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Michigan.
From the survey results,
“’Do not overtax business,’ offered one CEO. ‘Make sure your tax scheme does not drive business to another state. Have regulatory environment and regulators that encourage good business — not one that punishes businesses for minor infractions. Good employment laws help too. Let companies decide what benefits and terms will attract and keep the quality of employee they need. Rules that make it hard, if not impossible, to separate from a non-productive employee make companies fearful to hire or locate in a state.”
Seems like pretty good advice. It’s unfortunate that enough CEOs nationwide think Washington is doing a fair-to-poor job at implementing such policies. But at least we’re not Illinois, which has fallen 40 spots in five years. Ouch.