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N.C. Retains #2 Spot In CEO Mag Survey

North Carolina's business climate has kept the Tar Heel state in the second-best ranking in the United States, according to a newly published survey of 556 CEOs conducted by Chief Executive magazine.

The seventh annual "Best & Worst States" survey by the magazine showed North Carolina in the #2 spot for the third year in a row. That reflected an improvement from third place in 2008 and fourth place in 2007.

CEOs are asked to rank states based on taxation & regulation, workforce quality and living environment. North Carolina got four out of five stars for the first two categories and a full five-star ranking for its living environment.

Texas has topped the survey every year it’s been conducted. Florida came in behind North Carolina to complete the top three.

Though California has traditionally been big not only in size and population but also in its population of high-tech and biotech firms, the CEOs in the survey still aren’t impressed. They ranked California’s business climate dead last – again.

Another irony: Massachusetts, the only other biotech powerhouse with more life science firms than North Carolina, also continues to scrape the bottom of the barrel in the yearly CEO rankings. They put the Bay State down in 45th place. Also wallowing around the bottom: New York 49th; Illinois 48th; New Jersey 47th; and Michigan 46th.