STATE – New Jersey ranks among the least business-friendly states in the nation, according to a CNBC special report. The Garden State fell from 30th place in 2011 to 41st place this year. The CNBC ranking scored all 50 states on 51 measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness.
Texas was deemed the top state for business; Pennsylvania ranked 30th and New York came in 34th. In addition to the overall ranking, the report broke the evaluations down into ten categories such as cost of doing business, transportation and infrastructure, education and access to capital. New Jersey ranked near the bottom in most metrics, but did place fourth in education and 11th in access to capital.
After placing 23rd in the transportation and infrastructure category last year, New Jersey fell to 41st place in the latest ranking.
“It’s no surprise that businesses are discouraged by the transportation outlook in New Jersey,” said U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ.) “We say transportation is the lifeblood of New Jersey’s economy because it’s true. Unfortunately, Governor Christie has turned away billions in federal transportation funding, shortchanged infrastructure projects and punished commuters and businesses with steep toll hikes. Clearly the Christie Administration doesn’t understand or appreciate the importance of transportation to our state’s economy.”
“The Governor’s attacks and rollbacks on environmental protections have not made New Jersey more business friendly,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the NJ Sierra Club. “His Red Tape Review and other attacks on the environment were not about streamlining permits and did not help improve the business climate in New Jersey, but were about weakening environmental protections…. Roche is leaving Nutley for places that have stricter environmental laws and regulations than New Jersey.”
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno dismissed the CNBC report during a statehouse news conference today. “I called and asked what the matrix was and they wouldn’t tell me what the matrix was,” she said. “Unless you’re going to tell me how you measured those rankings I don’t think we should put any faith in those rankings.”