TRENTON – New Jersey was ranked 42nd in CNBC’s new rankings of the best states for business, with its highly ranked education system only going so far in countering failing grades for the economy, business friendliness and cost of living.

That’s a big drop from the cable business news channel’s 2021 report, when New Jersey was ranked 26th, and marks the state’s lowest ranking in eight years.

CNBC has been ranking the best states for business annually since 2007, though skipped 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, making this the 15th report. New Jersey has fluctuated from 15th to 43rd.

How New Jersey compares to other states

The study scores each state on 88 metrics in 10 categories, weighted by how often states use those as selling points. Workforce, infrastructure and the cost of doing business were the top three categories.

New Jersey was ranked as having the worst economy, which takes into account economic and job growth in the past year, each state’s fiscal condition including its budget and pension obligations, the residential real estate market and the number of major corporations who call the state home.

New Jersey 101.5 FM logo
Get our free mobile app

North Carolina ranked first, following by Washington, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Utah, Minnesota and Georgia.

Mississippi ranked last. The other states behind New Jersey were Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, Hawaii, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Maine.

Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

What makes you happiest living in New Jersey?

LOOK: Here is the richest town in each state

Just saying the names of these towns immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, luxury cars, and ritzy restaurants. Read on to see which town in your home state took the title of the richest location and which place had the highest median income in the country. Who knows—your hometown might even be on this list.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM