Virginia again ranks second in the country in Forbes.com’s annual list of Best States for Business.
The latest list, released last week, put Utah in the top spot for the second consecutive year.
“Virginia ranks No. 2 for the second straight year after a four-year run ranked first,” the website said. “Virginia has a strong, educated work force and a pro-business regulatory climate. The only thing keeping it form the top spot is its outlook.”
Forbes.com notes that Virginia has benefited from military spending and federal infrastructure development in Northern Virginia. The federal government’s largesse, however, may be coming to an end, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Mood Analytics, which contributed data used in the ranking.
“As fiscal screws tighten, it is going to be more difficult for Virginia to maintain the growth rates and success it has had in the past,” Zandi says.
Forbes.com lists Virginia as having a gross state product of $381 billion and a five-year growth rate of 1.3 percent.
Other states in the top 10 are: North Carolina, North Dakota, Colorado, Texas, Washington, Nebraska, Oregon and Iowa.
Maine was ranked as the worst state for business because of high energy costs, stagnant population growth and predictions of slow growth in jobs and gross state product.
The Forbes.com ranking is based on data collected in six categories: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
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