Forbes Magazine just released its 5th annual ranking of The Best States for Business and Careers. The news is not good for those hoping to start a business or build a career in the Ocean State. Rhode Island came in 49th out of the 50 states; Maine pulled up the rear in creating the worst climate in the country for business. Data for the rankings comes from 33 points of data used to contribute to overall rankings in 6 major categories: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. Rhode Island ranked 50th in regulatory environment and current economic climate, but scored better on growth prospects (23rd) and quality of life (17th).
This current ranking sits beside other ominous rankings that paint Rhode Island as inhospitable to business. The Pacific Research Institute, mentioned in the Forbes article, is a nonprofit that advocates for personal responsibility and economic liberty. They rank Rhode Island 49th, or next to worst, in their 2010 Medical Tort Index, and 49th in their 2008 U.S. Economic Freedom Index, a measure of how friendly or unfriendly each state government is toward free enterprise and consumer choice. Last, but not least, The Tax Foundation in its State Business Tax Climate Index ranks Rhode Island 44 out of 50, indicating one of the highest tax burdens for businesses operating within the state.
If information is the precursor to choices and change, entrepreneurs, students, and voters might want to become familiar with some of these very informative state rankings.