Posted by Brandon Jarvis
The Commonwealth of Virginia has moved up six places to number seven in CNBC’s Best States for Business 2017, which was released today. The annual list had previously ranked Virginia as the 13th best state to do business in 2016. The ranking is lower than the number 8 spot Virginia was given shortly after the Governor took office in 2014.
“We are thrilled that CNBC has recognized our efforts to build a new Virginia economy by ranking the Commonwealth number seven in their Annual ‘Best States for Business’ in 2017,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The effects from federal sequestration in 2013 did substantial damage to our economy. When I took office, we came in with a clear and simple plan to diversify our industries and make Virginia less dependent on the whims of Washington. Thanks to significant reforms and historic investments in our education system, innovative workforce development strategies and the record-breaking recruitment of new business capital and jobs, we are mitigating the damage of federal dysfunction and building an economy that works better for everyone.”
Since Governor McAuliffe took office Virginia’s unemployment rate has dropped from 5.4 percent to 3.8 percent (a nine-year low). Unemployment claims have dropped to a 44-year low. The Commonwealth has also added 187,500 jobs, and attracted a record $16.16 billion in capital investment, while growing the workforce by 60,000 jobs. The Governor has made reforming and investing in education one of the top priorities of his New Virginia Economy agenda. He helped usher through a record $1 billion investment in the state’s public education last year, while implementing a high-school redesign program that emphasizes high-demand job credentials and on-the-job training.
The CNBC rankings are developed by judging the states on a number of business metrics that are separated into ten categories including cost of doing business, economy, quality of life, technology & innovation, education, business friendliness, access to capital, and cost of living. Workforce and infrastructure are weighted at the top of the list among 10 major categories and 66 metrics. Virginia ranked second among all states for workforce quality.