Still a friendly state for business

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nebraskans are known for keeping an even keel, and when it comes to business, that's a good thing, according to a recent cable news survey.

CNBC released its annual America's Top States For Business report, compiling data for all 50 states on 51 measures of competitiveness, developed with input from business groups like the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness.

The chart put Nebraska at sixth overall, behind Texas, Utah, Virginia, North Carolina and North Dakota, and just ahead of South Dakota, Colorado, Georgia and, in 10th spot, Wyoming.

Nebraska didn't lead in any category, but was highest (6th) in "business friendliness." Other scores included economy (9th), cost of living (11th), cost of business and quality of life (13th each), education (18th), workforce, infrastructure and training (19th each), access to capital (32nd), and technology and innovation (34th).

The state showed improvements over last year in five categories, most notably infrastructure and transportation, which jumped from 31st to 19th.

Before we put too much weight in the rankings, however, it should be noted that the editors weighted the categories "based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves."

Still, with a healthy business climate key to an improving economy, the report is positive news, and another reason to make sure we do nothing to hurt Nebraska's ability to recover.

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