Washington Ranks as 2nd Best State for Business

Washington is actually down from last year, when the state held the top spot

The state of Washington ranks 2nd out of 50 states in CNBC’s 2018 ranking of “America’s Top States for Business.” But the state is actually down in the rankings from a year ago, when it was No. 1 overall.

This year, Texas landed the top spot, powered by the growing energy sector that has boosted the Lone Star state’s economy, along with a top rank in the “Infrastructure” category and three other top 10 category rankings. 

Washington, however, “makes a solid run at a first-ever repeat win,” says CNBC. Here’s why:

“The Evergreen State’s economy was the fastest growing in the nation last year, at 4.4 percent, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. But our Economy category also considers other areas where Washington stumbles a bit, like the state’s $13.8 billion in unfunded pension obligations. Factor in recurring weaknesses, such as poor infrastructure and high costs, and Washington is ultimately no match for a resurgent Texas.”

Categories in which Washington ranks highly include: Workforce (2nd), Economy (4th), Quality of Life (5th), Technology and Innovation (6th), Access to Capital (11th) and Education (12th).

Lower ranks for the state come in categories like Infrastructure (31st), Business Friendliness (32nd), Cost of Doing Business (33rd) and Cost of Living (37th).

The rest of the top 10 is as follows (in order): Utah, Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida.

The most improved state on this year’s list is New York, going from 38th to 27th. Idaho also jumped nine spots to No. 11 overall. The state showing the biggest decline is North Dakota, dropping from 21st to 31st, and Kentucky, dropping from 35th to 42nd. Ranking last on the list is the state of Alaska.

See full coverage of the annual list here.

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