In CNBC state business rankings, NJ is not last — but not good
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.
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.