For the last 12 years, North Carolina has consistently ranked in the top five of Forbes’ Best States for Business, and now it has earned the top spot.
Forbes ranked North Carolina the No. 1 state in the country for business based on costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
“North Carolina has built one of the country’s strongest business climates over the past two decades, fueled by low business costs, incentives and a young, educated workforce, many of whom have been trained at the strong universities in the state and Research Triangle Park,” Forbes said.
North Carolina ranked second last year after the N.C. General Assembly passed House Bill 2, commonly known as the “bathroom bill,” which compelled Deutsche Bank and PayPal to pause expansions in the state, Forbes said. The NBA, NCAA and ACC pulled sporting events.
House Bill 2 required people in government buildings to use the bathroom matching the gender on their birth certificate. The General Assembly replaced the most controversial parts of the law in March.
After those changes, Credit Suisse resumed its expansion, adding 1,200 new jobs paying an average of more than $100,00 a year, Forbes said.
Following North Carolina on the Forbes list were Texas, Utah, Nebraska and Virginia, respectively.