Virginia continues to slip in a prominent ranking of the best states for doing business.
The state came in at No. 13 on this year’s list of America’s Top States for Business, released late Tuesday afternoon by business-focused news channel CNBC. It was ranked the third-best place for business in 2012.
“The Old Dominion stands superior for workforce and business friendliness, but high costs and weak infrastructure hurt,” CNBC said on its website.
Virginia tied with Wyoming for 13th. Last year, Virginia was 12th, down from No. 8 in 2014 and No. 5 in 2013.
“This is a continuation of a troubling trend,” said Barry DuVal, president and chief executive officer of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
He noted how Virginia is losing ground in other national rankings, including the Forbes magazine list of the best places for business. The state came in at No. 7 last year on that list, down from No. 4 the previous year.
“The most prominent reason is job growth in Virginia, which has trended below the national average,” he said.
DuVal attributed the slow growth here to sequestration. Virginia continues to recover from sequestration, which has been on and off for the past four years, he said.
Under the federal sequestration compromise, which kicked in at the start of 2013, Congress and the White House agreed to an automatic series of budget cuts to trim the national debt by $1 trillion over nine years. Half of the savings are coming from defense spending — which Virginia relies heavily on — and half from domestic programs.
Efforts are being made to diversify the state economy, boost job growth, provide workforce training and education, and help businesses expand trade, DuVal said. “These will have the long-term benefit of realigning the Virginia economy and getting us back on the track of growth.”
CNBC’s top state for business this year is Utah. “With a sweet economy and industrious workforce, the Beehive State is America’s Top State for Business,” it said. Rounding out the top five are Texas, Colorado, Minnesota and North Carolina.
At the bottom, No. 50, is Rhode Island: “The Ocean State is overflowing with issues, including poor infrastructure and a weak economy.”
States were scored on more than 60 measures of competitiveness based on input from business and policy experts, official government sources, the CNBC Global CFO Council and the states themselves.
They received points based on their rankings in each metric, which were separated into 10 broad categories and weighted based on how frequently each is used as a selling point in state economic development marketing materials.