Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory likes to talk about competing against South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for jobs. He may want to start substituting Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal instead.
After leading Site Selection magazine's 2012 state business climate rankings, North Carolina dropped to second place in 2013. Georgia took over the first-place spot, rising from fourth place in 2012. South Carolina came in seventh.
North Carolina has led the annual rankings for 10 of the past 12 years.
The article that accompanies the rankings specifically cites Georgia's economic development efforts, logistics infrastructure and low energy costs.
The magazine's annual ranking reflects a survey of the nation's top corporate site selectors and corporate real estate executives.
According to the magazine, the executives surveyed said their most important 2013 criterion was the state's existing workforce. Second most important was transportation infrastructure. State and local taxes were third on the list.
Permitting and regulatory procedures, often blamed by state leaders for North Carolina's high jobless rate, ranked only sixth on the list of criteria in 2013. And incentives, often lauded as crucial for job recruitment, ranked only seventh.