NEW YORK — For the third year in a row, West Virginia ranked at the bottom of Forbes’ list of the “Best States for Business.”
West Virginia’s ranking was the result of multiple factors, according to Forbes senior editor Kurt Badenhausen, including the worst population growth rate in the United States and the lowest college attainment rate in the country at 19.6 percent.
“Labor market data firm EMSI projects the state’s employment growth to be the worst in the U.S. at a 0.2% annual rate over the next five years,” Badenhausen added.
Other reasons mentioned include a poorly ranked legal climate in terms of business friendless.
The state ranks at or near the bottom in the categories of labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. Two positives noted about West Virginia was the declining corporate net income tax between 2007 and 2014 and the low cost of living, which is 11 percent below the national average.
North Carolina was ranked as the top state for business by the business publication, followed by Texas, Utah, Nebraska and Virginia.
Business news channel CNBC ranked West Virginia last in its rankings released in July, with factors including the inability to adapt to dwindling coal production, the highest overdose death rate in the United States and the least-educated workforce in the country.