Monday, May 20, 2024

North Carolina named Top State for Business for second consecutive year

North Carolina wins bragging rights as America’s Top State for Business for the second year in a row from the business news channel CNBC. It’s only the second time a state has received the top spot back-to-back since CNBC started the rankings in 2007.

North Carolina ranked No. 1 in Workforce – the most important category in this year’s study – based on educated workers flocking to the Tar Heel state and its worker training programs. North Carolina also boasts the third-best economy with solid growth, stable state finances and a healthy housing market, according to the report.

“We invest in our people. We know they are the foundation of our success,” Gov. Roy Cooper told CNBC’s Scott Cohn on a live broadcast Tuesday from the lawn of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.

Cooper touted the state’s community college system and its private and public universities, including the nation’s largest number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He said the state needs to invest more in early childhood education, child care and public schools to earn a three-peat of the award.

The CNBC study looks at 86 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness. North Carolina also ranked highly in technology and innovation and access to capital categories. North Carolina topped last year’s total, scoring 1,628 out of 2,500 points. Since 2017, North Carolina has placed in the top five of state rankings four times.

North Carolina saw the addition of 29,000 jobs and $19.3 billion in investments last year.

Big 2022 economic development announcements include:

  • Wolfspeed investing $5 billion and bringing 1,802 jobs to Chatham County for its silicon carbide production site, which will provide semiconductor chips to power electric vehicle inverters and charging systems.
  • Vinfast investing $4 billion and bringing 7,500 jobs to Chatham County to build electric vehicles.
  • Macy’s department store investing $584 million and creating 2,800 jobs in Rowan County for a 1.4 million-square-foot fulfillment center.
  • Toyota investing $1.2 billion and creating 1,750 jobs in Randolph County to build an electric vehicle battery plant to support its 10 U.S. automotive assembly sites.

Earlier this year, North Carolina also won Site Selection magazine’s Prosperity Cup for the third year in a row, which recognizes the competitiveness of state-level economic development agencies and their success in landing capital investment projects.

In June, North Carolina also won Area Development magazine’s 2023 Platinum Shovel Award which recognizes states that went above and beyond the gold standard for investment and job creation. Business Facilities magazine named North Carolina its State of the Year for economic development and job growth.

CNBC’s top 5 states for business:

  1. North Carolina
  2. Virginia
  3. Tennessee
  4. Georgia
  5. Minnesota


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