Chief Executive magazine released its ninth annual "best and worst states for business" rankings yesterday. Connecticut languishes among the 10 worst states for yet another year, falling one position to 45th.
The magazine surveyed more than 700 CEOs, asking them to grade states on a variety of metrics, including taxation and regulation, workforce quality, and living environment.
While Connecticut rated better than average for the standard of its workforce and quality of living, it got poor marks for its tax and regulatory climate.
The state's higher-than-average unemployment rate, slow economic growth, and long term debt burden also contributed to its bottom 10 ranking.
The state's ongoing budget crisis weighs heavily on Connecticut's employers and taxpayers, as does the continued growth of state spending.
“Unfunded future pension and healthcare liabilities are future taxes that are at this point unknown," responded one of the surveyed chief executives.
"Business does not like unpredictable factors that are this critical to long term ongoing investments and operations in any state! Illinois, California, Connecticut and many others have this issue.”
That theme was reinforced by another survey respondent: "Unfunded pension liability and other mandated costs contribute to high taxes which make Connecticut unfriendly to new business. The politicians just don’t get it.”
Best and Worst
Only New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, and California ranked worse than Connecticut.
Texas ranked first, a position it has held for nine consecutive years, followed by Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Indiana.
The magazine said states were becoming more aggressive in competing with each other to attract private sector investment, create jobs, and generate economic growth.
"A lot of states are making strides in moving towards more favorable business climates," the magazine noted. "Texas has been there for years…others are being left behind.”