The Tar Heel state climbed two spots in the rankings from a year ago.
Forbes listed North Carolina as:
- No. 3 in business costs
- No. 15 in labor supply
- No. 3 for regulatory climate
- No. 18 for economic climate
- No. 9 for growth prospects
- No. 32 for quality of life
“This shows that the hard work of the past year has paid off – our investments in education to build the workforce of tomorrow, policies that create a more business-friendly climate and our aggressive recruiting,” said Gov. Bev Perdue in a statement. “When I took office, I pledged to take any meeting and make any call to bring jobs to this state. There’s nothing I love more than convincing a corporate executive of what a great place this is to live and work.”
Perdue also noted that North Carolina ranks third in reducing its unemployment rate (to 9.7 percent) while ranking fourth in job creation.
Utah is the new No. 1, toppling Virginia.
Georgia ranks eighth, falling two places from a year ago.
South Carolina, meanwhile, dropped nine spots to 34th.
Rankings are based on Forbes’ analysis of 33 criteria within six broad categories. Business costs such as labor, energy and taxes are weighted most heavily.
Other states in the top 10 include: Colorado (4), Washington (5), Oregon (6), Texas (7), Georgia (8), Nebraska (9) and Kansas (10).