North Carolina is No. 1 on the Forbes “Best States for Business,” the first time the state has achieved that rank after being the only one to rank in the top five over the past 12 years.
One factor helping North Carolina’s rise: Repeal of House Bill 2, also known as the “bathroom bill.”
Forbes, noting that protection for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual) people is one of the 41 metrics used to rank states, pointed out that North Carolina’s ranking by the Movement Advancement Project, which “tracks whether states are adequately protecting people from employment discrimination based on sexual and/or gender identity,” ranked North Carolina much higher than in 2016 when the bill cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in business.
This year, North Carolina, which ranked second in 2016, scored best overall across an index of six different categories with Texas finished second.
“North Carolina has built one of the country’s strongest business climates over the past two decades, fueled by low business costs, incentives and a young, educated workforce, many of whom have been trained at the strong universities in the state and Research Triangle Park,” Forbes notes in the report, which was published Tuesday. “Migration rates into the state are among the highest in the U.S. annually.”
The state scored best in business costs, ranking second overall.
North Carolina also scored ninth in regulatory environment, 10th in growth prospects and 11th in labor supply.
Other rankings include 16th for quality of life and 18th in economic climate.
North Carolina was the only state to rank among the top 20 states in all six categories, Forbes noted.
Texas ranked first in economic climate, second in growth prospects, third in labor supply and ninth in labor supply but fell to 30th in quality of life and 21st in regulatory environment.
Utah and Virginia, which traded the No. 1 honor over the previous reports, finished third and fifth respectively.
Nebraska ranked fourth, Georgia sixth and Florida seventh.
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