CNBC has released its 2018 “Top States for Business” report. Washington topped last year’s list and, as sports fans know, it’s hard to win back-to-back titles. So slippage this year might have been expected. Remaining in the top five can be considered a win. Being the runner up is even better. Texas took top marks, followed by Washington, Utah, Virginia and Colorado.
As the table above shows, Washington did best in workforce, economy and quality of life. Our marks for cost of living, cost of doing business, and business-friendliness are of concern. Washington did, however, stay out of the bottom ten on all of the CNBC major criteria.
CNBC’s subhead summary on its Washington page makes the point.
A great workforce and growing economy help the Evergreen State stand tall. But high costs chip away at its advantages.
Last year we wrote,
As we’ve written previously, we’re skeptical when it comes to these sorts of “best states” rankings. A point or two here or there would have bumped Washington from the enviable top spot. And, as CNBC points out, the ranking methodology allows for multiple paths to success. Skeptical or not, though, we like seeing Washington topping this list. And we find, as usual, that there’s a lot of very useful information to be gleaned from reviewing the data. CNBC does a commendable job of sharing its methodology and data sources.
This year, we’d amend that to say a point or two here or there would have put Washington at the top. It’s close and it’s subjective. But it would also be a mistake to disregard those low marks for costs and business-friendliness. There’s room to improve.