Chief executive officers from across the country think Connecticut has a lot of room for improvement in its business climate.

In its latest edition, Chief Executive magazine ranks Connecticut 45th in its annual “Best and Worst States for Business” survey.

Handing out the grades were 651 CEOs who were asked to draw upon their direct experience with the states in making their judgments.

Though Connecticut came out slightly ahead of Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, the bad news is that we dropped seven places from last year’s survey.

Business leaders graded each state based on three general categories--taxation and regulation, workforce quality, and living environment.

Within each category were several subcategories, such as perceived attitude of government to business, degree of employment compliance regulations, availability of labor, public education system and transportation access.

All of those are among the factors that Connecticut businesses have routinely identified as very important to their ability to compete, create jobs and increase investments in the state.

Lawmakers made some progress in this year’s legislature, and more work will have to be done in the 2011 session.