The Commonwealth of Virginia is the fourth best state for business, according to a recent report put out by Forbes Magazine.
Forbes uses 40 different metrics from 17 sources to rank each state on six different categories related to doing business.
Virginia ranked toward the top in three of Forbes’s categories. The commonwealth scored first in the quality of life ranking, which considers the cost of living, the climate, school test scores and crime statistics, among other things. It also scored third in two categories: labor supply and regulatory environment. The labor supply ranking considers high school and college attainment, net migration, population growth and some other factors. The regulatory environment ranking considers regulatory costs, the state’s bond rating, property rights, etc.
The commonwealth scored slightly above average in two of the other categories: 20th in economic climate rank and 24th in growth prospect rank. Economic climate rank considers job, income, gross state product growth, etc. The growth prospect rank considers the forecasts regarding the aforementioned numbers. The state scored below average in one category, ranking 30th in business cost. This category considers labor, energy and taxes.
Virginia did well in CNBC’s ranking earlier this year, in which the commonwealth ranked as the best state in the country to do business. This ranking came out shortly after Amazon announced that it would build half of its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
Chris Braunlich, the president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, told The Center Square in an email that Virginia has a lot of things to celebrate about, but that people should be concerned about the legislative proposals of Gov. Ralph Northam now that Democrats have control of both chambers of the General Assembly. The Thomas Jefferson Institute is a free-market think tank based in Virginia.
“For example, Virginia already ranks fairly poorly [30th] on Business Costs (composed of labor, energy and taxes), but the Governor just proposed a slew of new taxes and progressives are advocating ideas in labor relations and the minimum wage which would raise the cost of labor even higher,” Braunlich said. “Add to that a new regulatory regime that would drive down our high ranking in the ‘Regulatory Environment’ rank and the effects these would have on our economic climate and growth prospects rankings, and there are real dangers to people’s jobs and the state’s economy if many of the new legislators are allowed to cut loose with ideas you see in California (ranked [47th]).”
Two of Virginia’s neighbors made it into the top 10: North Carolina, which was ranked first, and Tennessee, which was ranked seventh. The rest of the commonwealth’s neighbors were in the bottom half: Maryland at 34, Kentucky at 38 and West Virginia at 49.