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New Jersey in bottom half of Top States for Business 2018

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The grades are in and New Jersey is down four spots from its 2017 ranking to No. 36 on CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business 2018 list.

Texas was tops in the overall rankings, which evaluate all 50 states in 10 categories on their business competitiveness.

In addition to being ranked numerically, each state is also assigned a letter grade, per category, to measure relative competition. A category’s weight is determined by how often states reference it, or its components, in marketing itself to attract business.

In 2018’s top three-weighted categories -- Workforce, Infrastructure and Cost of Doing Business -- New Jersey earned a B, D+ and F, respectively.

Compounding the F grade, New Jersey ranked at No. 50 in the Cost of Doing Business category, which includes in its consideration the competiveness of a state’s tax climate. The rankings site a New Jersey corporate tax rate of 9 percent, which is due to increase to 11.5 percent for the next two years and 10.5 percent for the two following that, in the wake of 2019 state budget negotiations.

Although it ranked higher, at No. 44, New Jersey also earned an F grade in the Business Friendliness category.

The Garden State received A-‘s, its highest marks, in Education ranking at No. 7, and Access to Capital ranking at No. 9.

In addition to the overall rankings Texas also came in first with A+ grades for Infrastructure and Economy. In the latter category New Jersey was graded a C- at No. 31.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott publicly traded barbs earlier this spring following the publication of an editorial from Abbott in the Star Ledger which openly encouraged New Jersey business to consider a move to the Lone Star state.

The remaining 2018 categorical rankings and grades for New Jersey are, Quality of Life, B-, No. 16; Technology and Innovation, B-, No. 18; Business Friendliness, F, No. 44; and Cost of Living, F, No. 41.

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Jessica Perry

Jessica Perry


Jessica is the Web Editor for NJBIZ. You can reach her at jperry@njbiz.com.

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