Colorado third in ranking of top states for business

Colorado ranks third among the top states for business, according to the latest results of an annual study that takes into account more than 60 measures of competitiveness.

Colorado scored 1,555 out of a possible 2,500 points to move from fourth to third in the 10th annual list of America’s Top States for Business compiled for the CNBC cable television network.

Rankings were determined using publicly available data. States received points for their rankings for each metric. Categories were weighted based on how frequently each was used as a selling point in state economic development marketing materials, grading states on the criteria they use in promoting themselves.

With an influx of college-educated workers attracted in part by strong job growth and an unemployment rate below the national average, Colorado earned the top ranking for its workforce and placed second for its economy.

Colorado was praised for a workforce that ranks as the most-educated in the nation and state worker training programs that are among the best performing in the nation. The state also boasts one of the highest net migration rates in the country.

The state ranked eighth for access to capital as well as technology and innovation, ninth for business friendliness and 12th for quality of life.

Colorado ranked near the middle of the 50 states for education at 25th, infrastructure and transportation at 29th and cost of living at 32nd. Colorado fared the worst at 37th for cost of doing business. While the state imposes comparatively low individual, corporate and sales taxes, local taxes increase rates.

Utah won the title as America’s top state for business after ranking among the top 13 states in five categories, including third for economy. Utah fared the worst at 24th for access to capital.

Texas remained in second place overall with the top economy and second-best infrastructure. Texas also finished among the top 10 states for access to capital, work force and technology and innovation.

Minnesota slipped from first to fourth although the state ranked second for education and quality of life. North Carolina came in fifth. Michigan improved the most in the latest rankings in moving from 22nd to seventh.

Rhode Island slipped two spots to rank as the worst state for business. The state finished among the bottom 10 states in five categories. Hawaii came in at 49th despite offering what was ranked as the best quality of life. Mississippi and West Virginia tied for 47th followed by Maine at 46th.