California named worst state for business in magazine survey


So much for the idea of West is best. In an annual survey, executives ranked California as the worst place to do business for the eighth year in a row.

Chief Executive magazine has only been conducting its survey for eight years. Texas has been top-ranked every year.

The survey considered responses from 650 business leaders, who graded states on factors such as taxes, regulations, living environment and more.


Texas and second-ranked Florida have the highest migration rates in the nation for 2001 through 2009. California has lost 1.5 million people over the same period.

Also in the top 10: North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Utah.

California narrowly edged out New York in what the survey called “the ninth circle of business hell,” sharing the bottom five spots with Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan.

Once one of the strongest economic performers in the country, the Golden State has lost some of its gleam, by some measures, though it remains by far the strongest magnet for venture capital investment.

Its 10.9% unemployment rate is only lower than Nevada’s and Rhode Island’s. A third of U.S. welfare recipients live in California, the report noted. High state taxes and bundles of red tape make operating a business in the state unaffordable to many companies, critics say.

Last year, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs elsewhere -- 26% more than 2010. Most chief executives in Silicon Valley said they won’t expand in the state, according to the survey.


Other studies, including one from the Tax Foundation think tank earlier this year, concur that California has a bad business reputation. However, some economists, along with former Gov. Gray Davis this week, beg to differ.

But the state’s saving grace, according to most? The weather.


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