Minnesota is No. 1 state in the country for doing business, CNBC says


A new analysis today from CNBC ranks Minnesota as the top state in the country for doing business.

That's up from 6th place in the same survey a year ago.

CNBC, a business cable TV network, has released the rankings for the past nine years, scoring each state on 56 different measures of competitiveness. Those measures are then sorted into 10 broad categories, such as the cost of doing business, infrastructure, workforce, education and quality of life.

The study then weights those categories based on how much they are used by the states to attract business. So basically, the study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.

In those 10 categories, Minnesota ranked highest in education (second); quality of life (third); economy (fifth); technology and innovation (sixth); infrastructure (ninth) and work force (13th).

Minnesota ranked lower in other categories, including the cost of doing business (35th), the cost of living (32nd), business friendliness (23rd) and access to capital (23rd).

It's unusual for "a high-tax, high-wage, union-friendly state" to make it to the top of this ranking, CNBC noted. "But Minnesota does so well in so many other areas—like education and quality of life—that its cost disadvantages fade away."

The route that Minnesota is taking to economic success is an indicator of what businesses are emphasizing when they decide where to locate, CNBC continued.

"Rather than just seeking the lowest taxes or the highest incentives, companies are increasingly chasing the largest supply of skilled, qualified workers. So states are touting their workforces like never before, giving the Workforce category—where Minnesota finishes a respectable 13th—greater weight in our study."

"The North Star State navigates to the top with superb education, a strong economy and great quality of life. But costs are high."

In an interview on CNBC Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Mark Dayton defended the state's relatively high tax rates.

"We're not a low tax state, but we're a high value state," Dayton said, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

In a column he wrote for CNBC, Dayton noted Minnesota's unemployment rate is now 3.7 percent and mentioned its $2 billion budget surplus. He called the state's economic recovery over the past four years "extraordinary."

"The credit for this successful recovery belongs to the people of Minnesota. To the small-business owners and large corporate executives who have reinvested in our state. To their hardworking, productive employees, who have made those investments successful."

Rounding out the top five states in the survey were Texas, Utah, Colorado and Georgia. Minnesota's neighboring states in the Upper Midwest all ranked relatively high as well. North Dakota came in at No. 6, Iowa is No. 10, South Dakota is No. 11 and Wisconsin is No. 15.

The worst state in the nation for doing business, according to CNBC, is Hawaii - although it scored No. 1 in quality of life.

Next Up

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Driver killed after crashing into parked semi-trailer

The crash occurred on the 5800 block of University Avenue Northeast.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Panthers: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings will look to open things up in Carolina.

Tanner Morgan/Gopher Football

Morgan's resurgence, Nebraska's miscues help Gophers hold on

The Gophers quarterback threw a pair of touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.

Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith warns Dems she may not vote for budget bill if climate plan dropped

This comes amid a White House effort to get its "Build Back Better" plan passed.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

St. Paul man dies six days after crash on I-94

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has identified the man as David Rodney Hardaway.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Double murder in northeastern Minnesota, suspect kills himself after chase

The suspect died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

chaska school fight

Anti-masker involved in school board meeting fight charged with assault

It happened last month at an Eastern Carver County Schools hearing.

Marcus Foligno

Marcus Foligno throws hands, scores game-winning goal in Wild's opener

The Wild forward scored with 7.2 seconds left to beat Anaheim.


Flickr - Welcome to Minnesota sign - Lorie Shaull

MN is one of the top states in the US for business, CNBC says

Minnesota is among the top 10 overall, and the highest-ranked Midwestern state.

More business owners see improvement in Minnesota economy

31 percent of Minnesota business owners and managers surveyed by the state chamber of commerce and a public relations firm see the state's economy improving. That's up from just 13 percent in last year's Business Barometer survey. As for what obstacles they face, high taxes was the most common concern followed by health care costs and finding qualified workers.