Ranked: America’s Best States to Do Business In
The United States often ranks as one of the best countries to start a business in, but the ease with which one can do business varies state by state. There are many considerations that factor into starting a business like the available workforce, the condition of local infrastructure, access to investors, a culture that’s open to business, and so on.
This map ranks America’s best states to do business in based on a study from CNBC which measured 88 factors across 10 broad categories.
Here is a further breakdown of the weight given to each of the 10 categories:
The Most Business Friendly States
North Carolina—coming in first place in the ranking—attracts an extremely talented and innovative workforce, largely thanks to the state’s investment in its Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP).
Notably, there are three ties in the ranking: New York and South Carolina had the same score, tying for 36th, Connecticut and Nevada tied for 39th, and Hawaii and New Mexico tied for 46th.
Other states ranking high on the list are Washington, Virginia, and Colorado. One of the newest individual metrics CNBC took into consideration was an openness to the cannabis industry, likely playing into Colorado’s move up from 8th to 4th compared to last year.
Some states that perhaps surprisingly don’t crack the top 10 include California and New York, both often considered centers of finance and entrepreneurship. But with the high costs of living and of starting a business in those states, their overall score is reduced.
A Look at the Scoring — North Carolina, California, and Nevada
To better understand how this ranking works we’ve broken down three different states and how they ranked in all 10 categories that gave them their overall spot. Here’s a brief look at their place in each category:
While North Carolina is the number one state to do business in and has an extremely strong economy, they are 26th when it comes to the Cost of Doing Business.
Whereas California ranks low overall, the state ranks first in terms of Technology and Innovation, as well as Access to Capital.
Although Nevada scored highly in the Infrastructure and Business Friendliness categories, the state scored poorly in Technology and Innovation, and was dead last in the Education category.
Doing Business in America
New business applications have actually decreased 4% this year in comparison to the same timeframe in 2021.
Here’s a look at new business applications by region as of July 2022:
- Northeast: 63,058
- Midwest: 70,827
- South: 197,663
- West: 94,150
New business applications in July were the highest in the retail trade industry, numbering around 69,000 new applications, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Applications for professional service businesses were the second highest at 53,000, followed closely by construction businesses at 43,000.
Here’s a closer look at the industry breakdown:
|Industry||Number of Applications|
|Transportation and Warehousing||34,952|
|Administrative and Support||31,602|
|Health Care and Social Assistance||25,725|
|Accommodation and Food Services||24,166|
|Finance and Insurance||18,890|
|Arts and Entertainment||12,684|
|Management of Companies||4,166|
A potential looming recession, alongside rising interest rates and inflation, may be creating a sense of cautiousness among businesspeople, leading to the lower rate of business applications compared to last year. And, at existing companies, the economic situation has lead to cuts in growth forecasts and subsequently, major layoffs.
But overall, the U.S. is a country which values entrepreneurship—even during the pandemic, massive spikes in new business formations were recorded—and certain industries and states will continue to flourish in any business environment.
Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs Since 2020
How bad are the current layoffs in the tech sector? This visual reveals the 20 biggest tech layoffs since the start of the pandemic.
Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs This Decade
The events of the last few years could not have been predicted by anyone. From a global pandemic and remote work as the standard, to a subsequent hiring craze, rising inflation, and now, mass layoffs.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, essentially laid off the equivalent of a small town just weeks ago, letting go of 12,000 people—the biggest layoffs the company has ever seen in its history. Additionally, Amazon and Microsoft have also laid off 10,000 workers each in the last few months, not to mention Meta’s 11,000.
This visual puts the current layoffs in the tech industry in context and ranks the 20 biggest tech layoffs of the 2020s using data from the tracker, Layoffs.fyi.
The Top 20 Layoffs of the 2020s
Since 2020, layoffs in the tech industry have been significant, accelerating in 2022 in particular. Here’s a look at the companies that laid off the most people over the last three years.
|Rank||Company||# Laid Off||% of Workforce||As of|
Layoffs were high in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, halting the global economy and forcing staff reductions worldwide. After that, things were steady until the economic uncertainty of last year, which ultimately led to large-scale layoffs in tech—with many of the biggest cuts happening in the past three months.
The Cause of Layoffs
Most workforce slashings are being blamed on the impending recession. Companies are claiming they are forced to cut down the excess of the hiring boom that followed the pandemic.
Additionally, during this hiring craze competition was fierce, resulting in higher salaries for workers, which is now translating in an increased need to trim the fat thanks to the current economic conditions.
Of course, the factors leading up to these recent layoffs are more nuanced than simple over-hiring plus recession narrative. In truth, there appears to be a culture shift occurring at many of America’s tech companies. As Rani Molla and Shirin Ghaffary from Recode have astutely pointed out, tech giants really want you to know they’re behaving like scrappy startups again.
Twitter’s highly publicized headcount reduction in late 2022 occurred for reasons beyond just macroeconomic factors. Elon Musk’s goal of doing more with a smaller team seemed to resonate with other founders and executives in Silicon Valley, providing an opening for others in tech space to cut down on labor costs as well. In just one example, Mark Zuckerberg hailed 2023 as the “year of efficiency” for Meta.
Meanwhile, over at Google, 12,000 jobs were put on the chopping block as the company repositions itself to win the AI race. In the words of Google’s own CEO:
“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today… We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.”– Sundar Pichai
The Bigger Picture in the U.S. Job Market
Beyond the tech sector, job openings continue to rise. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed a total of 11 million job openings across the U.S., an increase of almost 7% month-over-month. This means that for every unemployed worker in America right now there are 1.9 job openings available.
Additionally, hiring increased significantly in January, with employers adding 517,000 jobs. While the BLS did report a decrease in openings in information-based industries, openings are increasing rapidly especially in the food services, retail trade, and construction industries.
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