Chief Executive’s 2012 Best and Worst States in which to do business has Ohio at 35th, up from 41 last year:
In Chief Executive’s eighth annual survey of CEO opinion of Best and Worst States in which to do business, Texas easily clinched the No. 1 rank, the eighth successive time it has done so. California earns the dubious honor of being ranked dead last for the eighth consecutive year.
This year, 650 business leaders responded to our annual survey, up from 550 in 2011. CEOs were asked to grade states in which they do business among a variety of areas, including tax and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment. The Lone Star State was given high marks foremost for its business-friendly tax and regulatory environment. But its workforce quality, second only to Utah’s, is also highly regarded.
The list also touches on an issue The Buckeye Institute has focused on this year, right-to-work laws:
It may be no accident that most of the states in the top 20 are also right-to-work states, as labor force flexibility is highly sought after when a business seeks a location. Several economists, most notably Ohio State’s Richard Vedder and Harvard’s Robert Barro, have found that the economies in R-to-W areas grow faster than other states, have higher employment and attract more inward migration. Governor Scott Walker’s battle with the unions in Wisconsin (See “Will Wisconsin Rise Again?”), a state that edged into the top 20 this year for this first time, demonstrates that the struggle for a pro-growth agenda can be contentious. As one Badger State business leader remarked, “Finally, Wisconsin is headed in the right direction.”
There are signs that Ohio is headed in the right direction on a number of fronts, but it is equally true that there is a lot of work yet to be done. This CEO survey confirms that impression.
Ohio must tackle fundamental reform across a number of issues if it is to change the way the rest of the country, and the world, views its business climate.