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January 1, 2008

CEO survey finds New York among nation's worst states to do business

ALBANY— Another national index has ranked New York one of the nation's worst states to do business in.

The newest index, from Chief Executive Magazine, compiled survey responses from 605 CEOs nationwide to find the nation's best and worst states to do business.

CEOs were asked to evaluate their own states in several categories including education, tax policy, quality of living and infrastructure. Survey respondents also graded each state on taxation, regulation, workforce quality and living environment.

For the third year in a row, New York was ranked as the second-worst state to do business in, the magazine said. California, another highly taxed and regulated state, was ranked the worst.

"Notorious for onerous legislation and high taxes, New York scored similarly to California in the taxation and regulation category, receiving a 'D,' while getting a 'B-' for the workforce quality and 'C-' for its living environment," the magazine reported.

The publication noted that most New York CEOs surveyed called for "lower taxes, less regulation and less government spending as well as more business-friendly policies."

"Overall, the message CEOs are sending is that over-taxed and over-regulated states are not conducive to the health of their businesses," said Ed Kopko, the magazine's CEO and publisher. "This is the message they've been communicating since our poll started in 2005. However, in states like California and New York, where we are increasingly facing a shrinking population, the message seems to have fallen on deaf ears, as CEOs continue to be extremely frustrated with the business-unfriendly practices in these states."

The newest index echoes the finding of two recent studies which also listed New York's ability to compete and overall business environment poorly.

The Beacon Hill Institute's 2007 State Competitiveness Index, which gives significant weight to high-tech areas in which New York has strengths, nonetheless rated New York 38th overall.

The American Legislative Exchange Council's 2007 State Economic Competitiveness Index ranked New York's overall competitiveness 49th.

Chief Executive Magazine's index has been added to Just the Facts, The Business Council's compendium of data on key economic indicators. Just the Facts is available at www.ppinys.org/reports/JustTheFacts.html.